State Minister for Industries, Hon David Bahati, has urged the clergy to actively engage in economic empowerment activities, saying financial liberation of the Church will give it a strong moral ground to preach the good news.
“The church needs to have income generating activities to build a strong economic base for her Christians and the church leaders,” said Bahati.
The Minister spoke this Saturday at the Ordination of Deacons at St Peters Cathedral Rugarama, Kabale district.
Bahati commended Bishop George Bagamuhunda “for leading the crusade on this front” considering that the church has a radio station, fuel station and other projects.
The Minister said the church should work with government to lift the Christians from subsistence life into the money economy, by encouraging production for the market and saving.
“Use the pulpit every Sunday and on every occasion to change the mind-set of our people. Educate Christians to take advantage of government social economic transformation programs like the Parish Development Model, Emyooga and SACCOs. Mobilize the population to work together, increase production and in turn to participate in the industrialization agenda of this country,” he added.
Uganda’s economic growth has tapered off, averaging 3–4% from 2015 onwards.
The economy remains small (GDP US$25 billion) and heavily reliant on donor funding, with majority of rural dwellers in subsistence farming.
The church, if well utilised can ably sensitise the public to embrace commercial agriculture as a first step towards economic emancipation.
Bahati, who doubles as Ndorwa West MP, also called for patriotism among Christians, emphasising the church should teach people to love their God, love their country and community.
He added: “Let us join hands with the Church to fight corruption. The church is a source of moral authority in our society. You are the salt and light of the world. Let us show the example. Let us propagate essential values to our followers: values of integrity.”
The Minister also called on the church and its leadership to be the agent and glue that unites and holds our people.
“We have common enemies; satan, poverty, ignorance and disease. Let us use the opportunity God has given us in our various callings and service, to unite our people against these common enemies,” he said.