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Ugandan prelate warns of lure of polygamy, other traditional practices

Catholic World News - March 04, 2010

In Rome for his ad limina visit, the president of the Uganda Bishops' Conference has called the lure of indigenous beliefs one of the “major challenges” facing the Church in that nation.

“Not all the faithful have completely assimilated the Gospel,” said Archbishop Matthias Ssekamanya of Lugazi. “This is because the traditional cultures are still very strong. Some of these are incompatible with the Gospel, such as polygamy and certain ancestral religious beliefs.”

“Other challenges include the sects, which have significant financial resources and have a strong appeal to young people and people living in modest conditions,” he added. “We do not know where all this money comes from, but we know that these sects have large quantities available to them. We also know that most of the sects present in Uganda come from North America and Europe.”

Archbishop Ssekamanya also discussed the devastation wrought by the Lord’s Resistance Army. “"The biggest problem is the fact that we have millions of people who have been living 20 years in refugee camps. We need assistance to rebuild homes and to allow people to resume farming.”

The nation of 28.3 million is now 44% Catholic, 42% Protestant, and 12% Muslim. The Church in Uganda has 1,121 seminarians.

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