Archbishop Kaziimba Blocked from Accessing Church

Tensions flared in Kumi District as a faction of Anglican faithful blocked Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba from accessing the premises of St James Church. The Archbishop's visit, part of a scheduled five-day pastoral tour to the district, was met with resistance at the church located in Atutur.

The chaos unfolded when Bishop Mike Esakan asserted that it was time for the Diocese of Kumi to reclaim St James Church, which had been occupied by wasps. This statement, delivered amidst the congregation, sparked outrage among members loyal to the splinter Reformed Anglican Church. Insults were exchanged, and the Archbishop found himself amidst a tumultuous situation.

Following this incident, the aggrieved faithful, led by Rev. Okunya, sought legal recourse by taking the matter to court to challenge the decision of the House of Bishops. However, the court ruled in favor of the Church of Uganda, further escalating the tensions.

In response to the court ruling, the dissatisfied group went on to establish the Reformed Anglican Church. Yet, Bishop Esakan noted a shift in fortunes, claiming that the majority of churches previously held by the splinter group had been reclaimed by the Church of Uganda.

"We are in the spirit of getting rid of them. We thank the archbishop for coming," Bishop Esakan remarked, commending the dedication of lay readers who supported their cause.

Despite efforts by the police to restore calm and allow Archbishop Kaziimba to address the situation, the dissenting group refused to grant an audience. However, Archbishop Kaziimba utilized the opportunity to call upon the government to assist the Church of Uganda in regaining control of properties now under the control of the splinter group.

Dr. Kaziimba expressed dismay at the situation, likening the forceful takeover of St James Church to robbery. He emphasized the importance of respecting property rights and the freedom of worship, stating, "Since they have left; like a woman divorcing, you just go and establish yourself elsewhere."

The standoff between the Anglican factions highlights deep-seated divisions within the Church in Kumi District. As the dispute continues, the faithful await further developments amidst hopes for reconciliation and unity within their religious community.

In related news, two individuals have been arrested for theft of water, and tensions are reported between churches vying to host a Catholic bishop in the region.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.

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