Moses Oundo, the National Spokesperson of Jehovah’s Witness in Uganda revealed that they are undertaking extra precautionary measures not to expose their flock to the risks of contracting the killer contagion.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of the millenarian Christian denominations in
Uganda, has opted not to reopen its worship centres, known as kingdom
halls, even as the Ugandan economy reopens.
They argue that
although the government has lifted all the restrictions on the movement
of people and congregating as was the case over the last two years, the
omicron COVID-19 Variant is still spreading intensely and this could
increase the risk to believers if they are allowed to re-converge.
The global denomination of Jehovah's Witnesses has
8.4 followers. Of these 9,011 are in Uganda as active Ministers who
teach the bible across 163 congregations in different locations in the
country. To many, they are known as the people who often come to homes
to evangelize, based on their door-to-door ministry.
they put a halt to all this when, like the rest of the economy, they
officially closed in March 2020, as one of the measures to control the
spread of COVID-19. In fact, the Kingdom Halls never reopened their
doors even at times when Churches and Mosques resumed operations during
the partial reopening in 2021.
This was the first time ever in the history of our church
that the Jehovahs Witnesses stopped all kinds of public engagement, something they never did even during
the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, which infected about 500 million people
worldwide and killed 50 million. Moses Oundo, the National
Spokesperson of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Uganda told URN that they are undertaking extra
precautionary measures not to expose their flock to the risks of contracting the
in; “Jehovah’s Witnesses…
Cue out…via video screen.”//
Oundo also explained that
another incentive factor behind their preferred method of religious activities is
the love for mankind and the value they attach to life as a precious gift from
God that should be protected in the wake of such plague.
in; “The motivation and…
Cue out…life in danger.”//
In an earlier publication, Robert Hendriks, the National Spokesman
for Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States was quoted saying that the decision
to keep the Kingdom Halls closed is to make sure that their meetings,
ministries and conventions did not cause the spread of this deadly disease.
“It’s unfathomable for us as a people or organization to be
held responsible for the deaths of others. It’s irreconcilable with our Christian
values and what we preach. Spirituality is not about building or being with
one another in person. It can still thrive when we’re connected virtually or
otherwise. We’re still connecting emotionally, socially and spiritually. “He
Although it was
feared that going virtual would hinder the traditional practices that
represent the core of their convictions, among them public outreach,
door to door evangelism and their large-scale conventions, some
witnesses who spoke
to URN said that they have adopted the new ways of worship without
Goretti Mirembe, a witness from Kajjansi Town Council Kingdom
Hall says she has conveniently adopted to zoom meetings, video and phone teleconferencing. Another witness, Charles attached
to Matugga Kingdom Hall says they are equally embracing vaccination against the
virus disease contrary to the falsehoods that Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrines are
opposed to the ongoing immunization programme.
in; “The truth of the…
Cue out…life in danger.”//
The religious group has published reminders in hundreds of languages on its global website,
encouraging adherence to safety guidelines. These include the
importance of physical distancing and of following regulations on public
gatherings, quarantining, hand washing, and the wearing of face
coverings as well as other practical measures required or recommended by
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.