By Barham Akatukunda
KISORO: As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Christians at Rubuguri Rift Up Jesus church on Sunday 18th December resumed worshiping after spending over a month while their church is closed.
This happened at Rubuguri Lift Up Jesus Church located in Rwamatembe village, Rubuguri town council, Kisoro district where a team from headquarters of Lift Up Jesus Christian Ministries Kabale district went there to re-open Church.
Lift Up Jesus Ministries Rubuguri headed by Bishop Aloysius Kiiza has been embroiled in conflict for the last three years after partners from Romania, Misiunea Speranta, now known as Hope Mission Uganda fell out over alleged financial discrepancies.
The two organizations signed an MOU to work together in Rubuguri back in 2015, to the delight of residents in Rubuguri, especially the Batwa, a minority group in the region.
During that time, a modern church was built for the community. Other projects including an Orphanage valued at more than 200 million Ugandan shillings, a school and a modern hospital were also constructed.
In 2019, the relationship hit a snag when the Romanians stopped channeling funds through Lift Up Jesus accounts and began doing their own business in Rubuguri without informing Lift Up Jesus Ministries leadership.
Since that the Church has been closed several times leaving communities in the area puzzled.
Alex Ahimbisibwe the church pastor during the interview said that these donors of Hope Mission are the ones doing each and everything to sabotage them from using this church which has continued the closure of church.
Ahimbisibwe explained that the court dismissed the case and the state attorney commanded that bishop and his team should be given back the keys of this church from the office of RDC Kisoro but the Kisoro resident commissioner who was supposed to handover these keys travelled to United Kingdom which have still paralyzed the church activities and this has forced them to conduct church service outside the in tents.
Bagyenyi Edward assistant pastor said that he decided to co-operate with Batwa because they had the same goal spiritually, he thanked God for achieving their goals and reopening worship gatherings at their church and appealed to political leaders to provide equal rights to the Batwa community.
Pastor Michael Kanyesigye who presented Bishop Aloysius Kiiza and her Wife Pastor Margret Kiiza at the function in Rubuguri, Kisoro District from the Lift Up Jesus Christian Ministries Kabale asked members of the Church to co-operate, forgive each other, unite in order to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with a great honor.
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