The May 2011 issue of New Horizons magazine, a publication of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, has an article describing their missionary work among the Karimojong, a tribe living in northeastern Uganda. In Needing Jesus More Than Anything Else, Albert J. Tricarico, Jr. maintains that in spite of all their problems what they really need is, you guessed it, a relationship with Jesus Christ:
“The people, apart from grace, are enslaved to the sins of drunkenness, stealing, lying, violence, idleness, and jealousy. Polygamy is widely practiced. Animism is their faith, and superstitions of various kinds have captured their hearts and direct their conduct… This is why the Orthodox Presbyterian Uganda Mission is committed to Word-based ministry, combined with works of mercy. We in the Mission want to love our neighbors in many ways, which is why we have a clinic, a farm, and a workshop. It is why we drill wells, teach literacy, and deliver community health instruction. But at every turn we want to love people in the very best way. Above all else, the Karimojong people need Jesus. We have Jesus, and we want to give him to them.”
One person stated the problem as:
“The problem with Karamoja”, a man in Entebbe told me, “is that the people are not civilized. They wear no clothes, raid for cows, and kill people. Ah, those Karimojongs!” This was the response I recently received when I said that I live in Karamoja. It was not the first time I had heard such a thing. He went on to suggest the two things that will help the Karimojong people most: education and disarmament. “Take all their guns, and put the children in school.” That was his program for change.”
Actually that is a very good program for change. A secular education always is. Teaching evolution, for example, shows us that we are all related. We are all brothers and sisters. While I commend the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for building clinics, farms, workshops and teaching people to read and write, the last thing they need is another non-existent god to worship. Jesus isn’t the answer and hasn’t been all that helpful in Uganda.
David Bahati is a Christian, a worshipper of Jesus, and a protege of The Family. His ideal for Uganda, based on a literal interpretation of the scripture is to condemn and kill all homosexuals! (see David Bahati and The Family in Uganda and David Bahati Interview by Rachel Maddow). An extreme example? Not when the man is a member of Parliament, has the backing of a religious organization and almost made his vision law in Uganda! At least he isn’t a consistent literalist (very few are) or he would also be promoting the death penalty for such vicious crimes as: picking up sticks on the Sabbath, disobedience children, false prophecy, adultery, and possibly for eating shellfish (Actions which demand the death penalty in the Old Testament, God Hates Shrimp).
No, what Uganda doesn’t need is more religion – any kind of religion. It needs education, hospitals and clinics, clean water, infrastructure and social change (for example see Ugnanda’s Major Challenge in 2011). It doesn’t need another reason to hate.