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Uganda: priests charged with incitement against government

Catholic World News - May 13, 2011

Two Catholic priests in northern Uganda have defied orders requiring them to appear before the police over alleged criticism of the government in their preaching.

Father Nakary Adiga and Father Caesar Dralenga, who serve at Christ the King Church in the Arua diocese, have been accused of “hiding behind the altar” to attack the government. The orders were issued last week, requiring the priests to answer charges of incitement against the government, especially during their Sunday sermons.

The summonses come only days after President Yoweri Museveni accused members of the Inter-Religious Council, which includes the Catholic Church, of arrogance, after the clerics denounced bribery by the government leader. The priests have refused to honor the summonses, saying they had not committed any offence. Christians had the right to be told the truth about what is happening in their government, according to Father Adiga.

Father Dralega on Easter Sunday told the congregation that he would not shy away from speaking the truth. “There is no reason why we should celebrate Easter peacefully when we know that people are being killed by security forces…It is absolutely evil and wrong,” he said.

Dan Byaruhanga, the Arua district police commander has said the two must appear at the police station. Ibrahim Abiriga, the resident district commissioner said the two will not be allowed to mislead Christians to rise against the government.

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