As Christmas Day draws closer, The Archbishop of Church of Uganda, The Most Rev Dr Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has sent a strong sound warning to people trying to attract children into homosexuality by promising them money and sponsorship.
The archbishop’s message to believers ahead of the Christmas celebrations on Sunday, comes at a time when there are rumours that the Church of England, which is the “Mother Church,” will soon vote to provide some form of blessings for homosexual relationships.
“We are grateful for the Church of England who gave us the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, we will never follow you in supporting homosexuality. You may be the “Mother Church,” but let’s be clear that such a decision will mean you have abandoned the very faith of Anglicanism you so generously shared around the world,” kaziimba said.
The Archbishop also extended his sincerest sympathies to all those families that will have an empty place as they gather for Christmas dinner. He encouraged them to look to Jesus as he is a “Wonderful Counselor!”
“We have lost people to Covid, and we have lost people to Ebola. We have lost people to senseless road accidents, to crime, and to preventable diseases. I extend my sincerest sympathies to all those families who will have an empty place as you gather for Christmas dinner. Please look to Jesus – he is a “Wonderful Counselor!”
He announced that the theme for 2023 is “United for service and growth.” He added that they have a number of bishops who will be retiring in 2023. “These are men who have worked diligently and who have faithfully proclaimed Christ to the nations,” he said.
Below is the Archbishop’s full message;
I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from whom all blessings flow!
This Christmas, I call upon us to acknowledge that our God is a God who gives!
He is a God who gave us his only Son so that all who believe in him might not perish but have everlasting life. This was prophesied by Isaiah when he said, “To us a child is born, to us a son is given.”
Our God is a God who also gives us a Wonderful Counselor in Jesus Christ. Too many of us look in the wrong places for answers to our challenges. We look on social media or to our age-mates, but I want you to know that most of the so-called “answers” on social media are not true. People are just forwarding lies.
If you want “wonderful counsel,” then look to the “Wonderful Counselor.” Look to Jesus, whose birth we celebrate this Christmas.
If you want the best answers to your challenges, then look to Jesus, who the prophet Isaiah says is the “Wonderful Counselor.”
Since I stood here a year ago, we have lost loved ones – our elders, our leaders, and we have lost children. We have lost people to Covid, and we have lost people to Ebola. We have lost people to senseless road accidents, to crime, and to preventable diseases. I extend my sincerest sympathies to all those families who will have an empty place as you gather for Christmas dinner. Please look to Jesus – he is a “Wonderful Counselor!”
We also thank the Ministry of Health, Health Care Providers, and, especially, community leaders in the Ebola-affected areas. Because of your dedication and cooperation you have brought us to where we are in the Ebola outbreak. I thank God that Mubende and Kasanda Districts will be able to travel and enjoy Christmas. Like our God who gave his Son to the world this Christmas, you have followed in his footsteps by giving yourself to bring the outbreak to an end. Thank you!
Let us all continue to be alert and careful about conditions that can spread diseases like Ebola and Covid. Let us also remember that malaria has killed more of us than Ebola and Covid combined. Please make sure every member of your family sleeps under a treated mosquito net.
We want to also thank all teachers and Head Teachers for your great efforts to help make this as much of a normal year as possible for our children going to school. You have faced many challenges. On behalf of the children and all families, we thank you for your dedication and commitment to restoring a stable educational environment for our children. Like our God who gave his Son to the world this Christmas, you have followed in his footsteps by giving yourself to educate our children. Thank you!
I urge all families to reduce their spending this Christmas a little, so you have enough to pay school fees in January. Inflation is still very high and it is pinching all of us. Be wise about how you spend at Christmas!
I also want to alert all students, parents, and teachers that there are bad people trying to attract children into homosexuality by promising them money and sponsorship. Children – please report such people to your Head Teacher and to your parents. I urge the government to set up a simple system whereby children can report these people to the relevant authorities who can investigate and take appropriate action.
Parents – please watch over your children during the school holidays. Spend time with them, and disciple them. Just as God gave his only Son to us at Christmas, so you must also give yourselves sacrificially to your children.
I especially appeal to parents to encourage their boy children to grow up into God-fearing men who respect their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and all people. Let’s raise a new generation of boys who honour and respect the women in their families so we can put an end to the majority of gender-based violence in this country.
To those who are recruiting children into homosexuality, I want to sound a very strong warning to you. These are not my words, but the words of Jesus: “If anyone causes one of these little ones…to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
I want to make it very clear that the Church of Uganda will always uphold the Bible’s teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that is the God-ordained context for sexual relationships. We don’t support fornication; we don’t support adultery; and, we don’t support homosexuality.
There are rumours that the Church of England will soon vote to provide some form of blessings for homosexual relationships. We are grateful for the Church of England who gave us the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, we will never follow you in supporting homosexuality. You may be the “Mother Church,” but let’s be clear that such a decision will mean you have abandoned the very faith of Anglicanism you so generously shared around the world. You may still be the Church of England, but you will no longer be Anglican, because Anglicans uphold the Bible. This is why the Church of Uganda is so passionate about the Gafcon fellowship of Global Anglicans and why we support the 4th Gafcon Conference in Kigali in April 2023.
I am pleased to announce that our theme for 2023 is “United for service and growth.” This is taken from Ephesians 4:11-16. We have a number of bishops who will be retiring in 2023. These are men who have worked diligently and who have faithfully proclaimed Christ to the nations. As I have visited dioceses this year, I’ve seen the fruit of their servant leadership; sustainability projects are coming up and evangelistic outreaches are bringing people to Christ. I urge all dioceses to stay focused on unity so that you can maintain this momentum. So you can build on the foundations laid in the past and continue to grow. It takes hard work to preserve unity, and I call on all leaders in dioceses to give yourselves to the vision of being “united for service and growth.”
At Christmas we see that our God is a God who gives and a God who forgives. I call upon all Ugandans to love one another and forgive each other. He gave us his only son. So, I urge you to also give yourselves to the cause of forgiveness and “unity for service and growth.”
I send warm Christmas greetings to President Yoweri Museveni, Maama Janet and their entire family and all our government leaders. All the Bishops and their wives, the Clergy, Lay Readers and Christians of the Church of Uganda. I also send my sincere greetings, along with prayers for a blessed Christmas for our Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Pentecostal brethren, and all those who have looked in hope for the coming of Jesus, who is the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!
The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA