The President commissioned the newly renovated Lira Martyrs Cathedral
President Yoweri Museveni has called on the clergy and Christians in general, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and emulate dimensions of his mission of hard work, preaching the gospel, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick as a way of helping humanity.
The President was on Wednesday speaking at a ceremony marking the golden jubilee of evangelisation and commissioning the newly renovated Lira Martyrs Cathedral, in Lira district.
The Cathedral was refurbished and expanded following the President's initial contribution of sh400m.
"I want to congratulate the Christians of this diocese for the anniversary of the 50 years. I was talking to the former bishop and he told me how he arrived here in 1971 and has been here throughout. He must have seen the turbulent times we went through. The people of Uganda should be thankful to God that after 50 years of this diocese, we are now living in peace and seeing development and freedom of worship. All these things were under challenge. I congratulate the Christians on the 50 years of the diocese and congratulate and thank you for building the house of God, if you had not taken the initiative, we who are from far would not have made a contribution," he said.
Museveni hailed his Archbishop John Baptist Odama for walking in the footsteps of Jesus by empowering the Christians.
"I was president of the scripture union. I'm sure I would have been a bishop if God had not given me other assignments. In the 1960s the Church of Uganda had some Christians called Abazukufu, ‘the ones who had awakened'. Their line was, look here, we the Christians are passengers through the world, we don't have to waste our time here, gifts are in heaven.
Here we don't have to sweat because…look at the birds in the air, they neither sow nor harvest but God feeds them. This is very dangerous. My father went away when he was 96 years old. And for somebody to be a visitor for 96 years and not work and just sit there is not a good idea," Museveni said.
The President said the parable of the talents says the master was not happy with those who did not use talent.
"How can you sit on your talent and say you are in the path of Christ? When I remember what Jesus did when young; He worked in the carpentry of Joseph, then preached the gospel, fed the hungry and healed the sick," he said.
Museveni contributed six tractors to the Diocese of Lango for ploughing and said if the church is using them well, the government would enhance the farm machinery so that Christians can hire them and it becomes an income for the diocese but also build agriculture for the population and the country.
The President pledged a contribution of sh300m towards the Bishops House and sh100m to the Cathedral car park.
Museveni congratulated the Christians and the people of Uganda on helping in the fight against the coronavirus.
"Ugandans have done Africa proud. People were saying it will kill us because of bad hospitals. The way you are seating and wearing masks is commendable. Being disciplined by avoiding the disease, Uganda has only recorded 96 deaths, 10000 cases, and 7000 recoveries," he said.
Archbishop Odama thanked the President for his contribution of sh400m he offered for the expansion, renovation of the cathedral.
The host Bishop Santos Lino Wanok was grateful for the President's support to development in the area and making a memorial visit to the Lira diocese to celebrate with them.
Bishop Emeritus Joseph Franzeli commended the President for his dignity to work for all Ugandans especially the poor families.
"I thank you for playing the role of the fountain of power and pray for your faithfulness," he said.
The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanya, cabinet ministers, area MPs, and other religious leaders.