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Pastors arrested in Mbarara for defying COVID-19 guidelines

The arrested christians of Source of Healing Ministries

Mbarara, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Police in Mbarara have arrested two pastors of Source of Healing Church for conducting a church service contrary to the COVID-19 guidelines.

Following the confirmation of COVID19 cases in Uganda, President, Yoweri Museveni ordered all places of worship closed to ensure social distancing to avoid the spread of the virus.  

The pastors, who include Masengo Rugabirwa and Ntungane Patrick, were found in their church located in Katete, Kakoba division, Mbarara City with of 20 members of their flock. 

Samson Kasasira, Rwizi Regional Police Spokesperson says police was notified by vigilant neighbours.  Kasasira says the suspects will be charged with disobedience of lawful order and for being negligent likely to spread infection of disease.

He says the 22 suspects are held at Central Police Station Mbarara as investigations commence.

Their arrest comes after two confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported in Mbarara, leading to the closure of five hotels. 

Religious leaders have on several occasions appealed to government to open churches, for people to plead to God for mercy as the country eases the lockdown. 

They have also draft standard operating procedures to guide the government easing the lockdown on churches.

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One comment

  1. On the risk of sounding very rude and unreligious, I would like to remind these pastors that Uganda is still a free country. If the closure of the places of worship are such a burden to then, if these pastors think that the government is “oppressing them and violating their basic rights”, if they think that by trying to control the spread of coronavirus the government is wrong, then I suggest that they re-locate. Let these men of God go to other countries where they can practice their preaching without hindrance! No one will refuse them to go. But as for now, the government is actually trying to save the lives of Ugandans by trying to control the spread of the virus. And one other issue these pastors are forgetting is their scriptures: the Bible says, “Give Ceasar what is Ceasar´s and give God what is God´s”. And this time, Ceasar has said places of worship should be closed! Try to read your Holy Book, please! Stop shouting and try instead to help Ugandans together with the government. Remember: Dead people don’t pray!

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