Bishop Timothy Yahaya called on church leaders to protect the House of God against such evils as tribalism, wondering whether the church in Uganda would survive a situation such as the one in Nigeria, where religious violence is experienced daily. He says that bombs and other explosives are planted in churches in Nigeria but Christians frequent the same churches because of their unshakable faith and the strong church leadership.
Bishops in Uganda have been challenged to spread the gospel as a way to strengthen and expand the church.
Right Reverend Timothy Yahaya, the Bishop Diocese in Nigeria, while giving his Uganda Martyrs Day sermon at the Anglican Shrine in Namugongo today, said expanding the church of Christ is what motivated the martyrs and the bishops should remain witnesses of Christ by expanding his church.
Bishop Yahaya said the martyrs had future ambitions which they sacrificed for the sake of Christ and His church. The visiting primate said the martyrs walked to their death, endured the suffering and humiliation but they never abandoned Christ. He noted, however, over 120 years after the martyrs’ example; Christians in Uganda are still walking for 10 kilometres to the nearest church.
He said people should be able to reach the churches within five minutes and challenged church leaders in Uganda to make this a priority in their ministry. Bishop Yahaya said he spent the last few days in Uganda visiting different parts of Mukono and noted that apart from the main churches built by the missionaries, few new churches have been built by the local leaders.
He moved the pilgrims when he said there are bishops who do not protect the church and that instead of preaching the gospel they spend time celebrating local sports championships.
He called on church leaders to protect the church against such evils as tribalism, wondering whether the church in Uganda would a situation such as the one in Nigeria, where religious violence is experienced daily. He says that bombs and other explosives are planted in churches in Nigeria but Christians frequent the same churches because of their unshakable faith and the strong church leadership.
Speaking about his own example, Bishop Yahaya said he inherited the diocese of Jalingo in the Northwest Nigerian State of Taraba and within five years his diocese has been able to build at least 8 churches. But he noted that in his home State, the situation is so challenging that you cannot walk into a church with a bag or drive into a compound with the same, as people fear that such bags may contain deadly explosives. He said people are maimed but they still worship God and the church of Christ is still expanding.
He asked church leaders in Uganda to stop preaching politically-correct messages to the powers that be, warning that such messages only lead to destruction. He also sent a message to church leaders who personalize the church of God, going on to preach “my church, my church.” Such churches, he said, only live as long as the mortal leaders live.