An appraisal of the role of the church in conflicts in Uganda with reference to the Buganda region (1879-1986)
Batulekeddeki, Joseph Matovu
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The purpose of the study was to appraise the Role of the Church in Conflicts in Uganda with reference to the Buganda Region (1879-1986). The study objectives were the following: the first objective was to identify and analyse the causes of church denominational instigated conflicts in Uganda using Buganda as reference case. The second was to establish and evaluate the methods of conflict resolution with. reference to Biblical teachings and Kiganda tradition. The third was to identify and examine the contribution and challenges faced by the church in search for peace in Buganda. The fourth was to propose ways and means of imparting Christian values of love for the neighbour, reconciliation and justice that can bring sustainable peace. The study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional survey design. Seventy five (75) respondents constituted the sample of the study. These included the Clergy, Lay Leaders and Ordinary Church Members. The researcher used research instruments namely: questionnaires and interview guides. Focused group discussions and documentary analysis were used as data collection methods. The study findings revealed that there was a significant relationship between church denominational (divisions) rivalry and conflicts in Buganda which have manifested themselves in the political arena through overt conflicts. The study demonstrates that the plurality of the Christian denominations brings competition, which overshadows the implementation of the biblical values resulting into inability to manage conflicts together as a Christian community. Meanwhile, the church has contributed to the search for peace in Uganda, but has also faced challenges. The study further revealed that the church could use means such as dialogue to impart Christian values of love for neighbour, reconciliation, and justice so as to bring about sustainable peace. The study concludes that an integrated procedure of conflict resolution and imparting Christian values should be adopted to address the apparent contradictions between the Christian teaching of these values and actual lifestyle of the Christians. Finally, there is need to promote sustainable peace in Buganda and Uganda as a whole. This will entail national reconciliation and integrating Christian values with the Kiganda conflict resolution mechanisms.