Showing posts with label Uganda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uganda. Show all posts

Monday, May 8, 2017

Uganda Analysis: escalating persecution of Christians in Eastern Region linked to Islamisation, decentralisation and impunity.

by Elizabeth Kendal

Uganda: Introduction
Uganda is overwhelmingly Christian 
Operation World 2010 edition describes Uganda as 84.7 percent Christians and 11.5 percent Muslim. The 2014 census indicates a marginal shift, putting the percentage of Christians at 84.5 (down 0.2 percent) and Muslims at 13.7 (up 2.2 percent).  Most of Uganda’s Muslims live in Eastern Region.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (72) – who has led the country since 1986 – is unashamedly evangelical Christian. As president in 2012, Museveni celebrated Uganda’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain by leading the nation in prayer and dedicating the nation to God.

Uganda has a secular constitution
Constitution of Uganda
Article 7 establishes, “Non-adoption of a State religion. Uganda shall not adopt a State religion.”

Article 2 enshrines the Supremacy of the Constitution:
"(1) This Constitution is the supreme law of Uganda and shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout Uganda.
(2) If any other law or any custom is inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail, and that other law or custom shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void."

Article 29 protects freedom of conscience, expression, movement, religion, assembly and association:
"(1) Every person shall have the right to—
(a) freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media;
(b) freedom of thought, conscience and belief which shall include academic freedom in institutions of learning;
(c) freedom to practise any religion and manifest such practice which shall include the right to belong to and participate in the practices of any religious body or organisation in a manner consistent with this Constitution;
(d) freedom to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed and to petition; and
(e) freedom of association which shall include the freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political and other civic organisations."

Article 36 protects the rights of minorities.
"Minorities have a right to participate in decision-making processes, and their views and interests shall be taken into account in the making of national plans and programmes."

So why are Christians suffering violent persecution in Eastern Region [see Morning Star News: Uganda] and why are the authorities not doing anything about it?

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UGANDA ANALYSIS
Escalating Persecution of Christians in Eastern Region Linked to Islamisation, Decentralisation and Impunity.


Eastern Region = Green
click on map to enlarge
Two trends have converged in Uganda’s Muslim-dominated Eastern Region to make life exceeding difficult for the Christians who live there: those trends are Islamisation and decentralisation. Compounding the crisis is the fact that persecutors seem to be guaranteed impunity.

Islamisation

Despite the revival of fundamentalist Islam being a global trend, and despite the impact fundamentalist Islam is having on the world, the trend is generally not well understood. There are many reasons for this, the most salient being the Western drift into neo-Marxist cultural relativism which leads Western elites to deny all politically incorrect narratives as they “progress” towards their eagerly-awaited post-Christian utopia.

The reality, however, is that during the late 1970s, the call to Islamic reformation converged with Islamic disaffection, ultimately erupting in 1979 in Islamic revolution: a successful Shi’ite revolution in Iran, and a failed Sunni revolution in Saudi Arabia.

Though the Sunni revolutionaries failed in their objective – i.e. the overthrow of the ruling House of Saud (which they deemed profligate) – they actually achieved something far greater. The revolutionaries’ siege of Mecca might have cost them their lives but it facilitated the empowerment of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi clerical establishment. Since December 1979, Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi clerics have had access to virtually unlimited funds with which to sponsor international jihad and to spread Wahhabi fundamentalist Islam across the globe, all from behind the benign facade of the ruling US-allied House of Saud and its US security umbrella.

The “Wahhabisation”/reformation process has been going on for some 35 years now. What this means is that most Muslims under the age of 30 have been raised more or less on a diet of intolerant and supremacist, pro-Sharia, pro-jihad, anti-Christian and anti-Western, Saudi Arabian Wahhabi Islam. The transformation of Islam across the Middle East, Africa and Asia – from secular and folk to serious and fundamentalist (mostly via the mosques) – is palpable and incontestable. The revival of fundamentalist Islam has widened the gap between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims; between conservative and modernising Muslims; and between Muslims and non-Muslims.

[Islamic ideology, history and the events and consequences of 1979 -- including “The Fatwa that Changed Everything” -- are discussed at length in chapters 3 and 4 of my book, After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016).]

Decentralisation

When Yoweri Musevini came to power in 1986, Uganda was both volatile and traumatised, emerging as it was from years of ethnic conflict and centralised tyranny. Ostensibly in the interests of diffusing tensions, reducing national-level conflict, increasing political participation and improving service delivery, Museveni launched a program of radical decentralisation that saw considerable power devolved to local authorities.

District creation is popular politics, for it creates jobs and empowers people. In Uganda, power is concentrated at the district level; consequently, competition for the position of District Chairman can be fierce. Indeed, the whole process has become politicised, with district creation functioning as a source of patronage. What’s more, Museveni – who came to power as a staunch opponent of ethnic and sectarian politics – now seems willing to benefit from it.

At independence (1962) Uganda had 18 districts. When Musevini came to power in 1986, there were 33. By the year 2000 there were 56, and by the time of the February 2016 general elections there were 112. New districts are being created all the time. In September 2015, parliament approved the creation of 23 more districts: four to become effective on 1 July 2016; with another six to become effective on 1 July 2017; another six on 1 July 2018; followed by seven more to become effective on 1 July 2019.

Today Uganda is the most balkanised country in all Africa. And while national-level conflict has decreased, it has been replaced with local-level conflict and systemic corruption.

Just as in Nigeria – where the proliferation of Local Government Areas (LGAs) has enabled Muslim minorities and settlers to become majorities in ever-smaller LGAs [case study Jos] – the proliferation of districts in Uganda has enabled Muslim minorities to become majorities in their own ethno-sectarian districts. While this is achieved in accordance with Article 179 of the constitution and with the blessing of the parliament, all it does is consolidate and legitimise tribalism and sectarianism.

Distressed church leaders of Bukedi diocese, pray at a
meeting in Katira district, Eastern Region, 10 Feb 2017.
(Morning Star News)
The problem for Christian minorities in Eastern Region’s Muslim-dominated districts is that they are now living in a parallel reality. As vulnerable religious minorities in any one of Eastern Region’s essentially self-governed Muslim-dominated districts, they could be forgiven for forgetting that they also live in a Christian-dominated state with a Christian president and a secular constitution that guarantees freedom of conscience, expression, movement, religion, assembly and association.

Article 2 of the constitution establishes the constitution as the supreme law in Uganda. Yet in many Muslim-dominate districts, secularism and religious freedom exist more in theory than in practice. Indeed, it seems the constitution no longer reaches into all areas of the state.

While none of the Muslim-dominated districts have as yet declared themselves to be Sharia Districts, the reality is they don’t actually need to, for they already function as de-facto Sharia fiefdoms where Christians may be persecuted with impunity.

Recommended reading:
Districts creation and its impact on local government in Uganda
By Jane AYEKO-K├╝mmeth, University of Bayreuth, Department of Development Politics. (April 2014)
Decentralisation and conflict in Uganda
By Elliot D. Green, Development Studies Institute London School of Economics (Dec 2008)

Impunity

District creation is closely linked to patronage, so it is not hard to understand why the central government might be loath to interfere in local governance or to challenge District Chairmen.

But there is more than just patronage at stake. Though only around 13 percent Muslim, Uganda is a member state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Writer Elizabeth Namazzi explains:  “The year was 1974, and Idi Amin Dada placed Uganda in the fold of OIC. His hope was that in any eventuality of war, his brothers in faith would offer their support to ensure his stay in power. It never happened. Instead, when Amin was overthrown in 1979, Saudi Arabia did the next best thing — they offered him asylum. . .

“Although he sought a political ally when he sought OIC membership for Uganda, [Idi Amin] knew that along with political support, the OIC would provide Uganda with many development opportunities.”

Indeed! While the OIC obliges member states to advance Islam (something most member states are eager to do) it also provides member states with access to funds from the Islamic Development Bank. As an OIC member, Uganda also benefited from Gaddafi’s munificence.

Uganda has benefited and continues to benefit financially from its OIC membership. This is yet another reason why the central government may well be loath to challenge the Islamisation of Eastern Region’s essentially self-governed Muslim-majority districts.

Losing control?

The fact that nothing is being done to counter the trends of Islamisation and escalating persecution of Christians in Eastern Region, may indicate that President Museveni is actually losing control of Eastern Region. If so, this does not bode well for the Christians who live there, or for the future of Uganda.

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Elizabeth Kendal is an international religious liberty analyst and advocate. She serves as Director of Advocacy at Canberra-based Christian Faith and Freedom (CFF), and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.

She has authored two books: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and, After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016).


Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Northern Uganda Update: Kony and the Bishops.

Date: Wednesday 2 July 2003
Subj: Northern Uganda Update: Kony and the Bishops.
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty E-mail Conference
From: Elizabeth Kendal, Conference Moderator


BACKGROUND

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is a blasphemous, terrorist cult militia that has been waging a campaign of terror amongst the predominantly Christian populations of Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan for the past 17 years. The signature trademark of the LRA is unrivalled cruelty and barbarity. The leader of the LRA, Joseph Kony, is a spirit medium. In late May and early June, peace talks led by the Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative (ARLPI), resulted in the defection of several senior LRA commanders.

On Saturday 14 June, Joseph Kony ordered his LRA soldiers to target the Church. "Catholic missions must be destroyed," he ordered, "priests and missionaries killed in cold blood and nuns beaten black and blue." The WEA RL Prayer ministry issued an urgent call to prayer on 17 June. For further background and details see the WEA RLC E-mail Conference posting of 19 June, entitled, "Northern Uganda: Kony orders the LRA to target the Church", (contains a link to the WEA RL Prayer posting of 17 June).

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KONY AND THE BISHOPS
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BISHOPS -- KONY'S "MOST WANTED"

Joseph Kony has now placed Anglican Bishop John Charles Odurkami and Tom Okello of the Elim Pentecostal Mission on his "most wanted" list and issued an order for their heads (link 1). Urgent prayer is needed.

BISHOPS -- CHILDREN'S MOST LOVED

In May, the WEA RL Prayer ministry raised awareness of the plight of children in Northern Uganda and issued a call for prayer (link 2), as another signature trademark of the LRA is their use of abducted child soldiers. These children are brutalised and traumatised - and 5,000 children have been abducted by the LRA for use as expendable child soldiers and sex-slaves in the past 12 months.

To reduce the risk of abduction, the children walk from their home villages to the regional centre of Gulu each evening and sleep under the watchful eyes of aid and mission workers. These days, some 20,000 children are sleeping in the streets of Gulu each night

In an act of solidarity, some of Gulu's bishops have taken to sleeping on the streets with them.

----------------------------------------------------------------
"Bishops Sleep On Streets, Seek UN Support Against Rebels"
By Dennis Ojwee, for New Vision (Kampala) 24 June 2003
----------------------------------------------------------------

Three bishops, John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese, Retired Bishop of Kitgum Diocese, Marcleord Baker Ochola II and Rev. Nelson Onono-Onweng, on Sunday night slept out on the streets of Gulu Taxi Park with thousands of children displaced by the LRA.

This is to share the pain that the children are persevering in the cold along verandas in fear of being abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels. The children come from villages around Gulu, Pader and Kitgum towns.

The bishops gathered one-by-one at the sleeping centres by 7:00pm. Thousands of children thronged them with surprise and overwhelming respect to them.

The children, who looked humble and courageous, carried torn sacks and rags over their shoulders as beddings. They gathered around the spiritual parents (bishops) to listen to the Lord's words.

"Thousands of children have been abducted, butchered, battered or shot to death by the LRA. The UN should try to put the war in the north top of its agenda on its high level secretary meetings in order to intervene and save the children and the people of northern Uganda from the flame of murder by the rebels led by Joseph Kony," the three bishops, Anglican, Catholic and Muslim leaders under the Acholi Religious Leader's Peace Initiative (ARLPI) based in Gulu town said on Sunday. (22 June)

They appealed to the UN to intervene in the bloody rebellion.

--------------(see also link 3)--------------

Writer David Ouma Balikowa noted in an Opinion piece in The Monitor (Kampala) on 20 June: "Mr Kony, as the commander of the LRA, has outlived an entire line of army commanders President Yoweri Museveni has had during this war. The list includes Lt. Gen. Salim Saleh, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, Lt. Gen. Jeje Odongo and Maj. Gen. James Kazini. Mr Kony has lived to see all these able generals come and go while he himself has remained intact."

Many are praying that he will not remain in tact for much longer.

- Elizabeth Kendal

Links

1) Bishops On Kony Rebels' List
New Vision (Kampala) 30 June 2003
http://allafrica.com/stories/200306300569.html

2) RLP 219, 14 May, Uganda: The Children, the Church and the LRA.
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s03050055.htm

3) CNN Thousands of children seek refuge in N. Ugandan town
23 June 2003 Kampala
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/africa/06/23/uganda.frightened.ap/

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Northern Uganda: Kony orders the LRA to target the Church.

Date: Thursday 19 June 2003
Subj: Northern Uganda: Kony orders the LRA to target the Church.
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty E-mail Conference
From: Elizabeth Kendal, Conference Moderator


The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is a blasphemous, cult-militia that has been terrorising the predominantly Christian population of northern Uganda for the past seventeen years, in order to try and force concessions from the Ugandan government.

The LRA have claimed to want to establish a theocratic government based on the Biblical Ten Commandments. As such it is not uncommon to hear the secular media referring to the LRA as a "fundamentalist Christian group". Yet the signature trademarks of the LRA are torture and maiming - such as the chopping off of hands, lips, noses and ears, as well as rape, kidnap, murder and the cruellest, most degrading torments - horrors so shocking they are unspeakable.

ESCALATION OF TERROR

An escalation of LRA hostility led the Ugandan government to launch a military offensive in March 2002. In spite of the fact that the LRA presently consists of only around 300 soldiers and 400 abducted child soldiers, the Ugandan military's "Operation Iron Fist" has failed to curb LRA terror - rather, the terror has escalated. In fact Father Joseph Gerner of Saint Joseph's Mission in Kitgum says, "The rebels are all over. I would say practically the whole countryside is in their hands".

While more than 20,000 children have been abducted by the LRA for use as child soldiers and sex-slaves in the past 17 years - more than 5,000 of those have been taken since June 2002.

The church carries most of the burden of this suffering. Christian missions and aid organisations provide care and counselling for escaped and rescued child soldiers and assist with their reintegration back into society. The missions also run orphanages, schools and clinics, and provide safe havens for children afraid of being abducted. This is no small task. For example, over 5,000 people are presently seeking refuge at St Joseph's Mission in Kitgum, and Noah's Ark Children's Ministry Uganda (NACMU) in Gulu takes in around 1,200 children each night.

As the LRA has waged war on the government of Uganda, the church has been the primary sustainer of society and protector of civilians, as well as the primary peace-broker. Now however, the LRA has declared war on the church. (Link 1)

LRA ORDERED TO TARGET THE CHURCH

Kony has been using radio equipment stolen from Catholic missions to communicate with his soldiers. As this equipment is set to a specific mission frequency, other Catholic missions have been picking up Kony's transmissions. On 14 June at 6pm, Joseph Kony was heard giving this order to his troops: "Catholic missions must be destroyed, priests and missionaries killed in cold blood and nuns beaten black and blue."

The Ugandan Army also picked up the transmission and has confirmed it as authentic. An escaped LRA prisoner/child-soldier also corroborated the order.

This is a radical shift in the LRA's attitude to the church. Previously the LRA had been willing to place its trust in Acholi religious leaders to broker peace negotiations. Most Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative (ARLPI) representatives are representatives of the Catholic Church. Father Joseph Gerner of the Catholic parish in Kitgum said that Kony's recent statements had
revealed a very worrying shift in the LRA's rhetoric. "This is very strange, this change, given that before it was only the Catholic Church they said they would trust". (Link 2)

The Roman Catholic archbishop of the northern Ugandan town of Gulu, John-Baptist Odama said, "I'm only wondering why, suddenly, it has switched and changed into a religious war targeting specifically the Catholic Church and particularly the leaders of the Catholic Church, like the priests, the religious nuns," he said. "This to me has been a puzzle. Up to now, I have failed to understand." (Link 3)

Father Carlos Rodriguez, a Catholic priest in Gulu who is involved in the Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative (ARLPI), explained that the LRA is furious that the peace efforts being made by the ARLPI have led to the defection of senior LRA commanders. (Link 2)

The WEA RLC Prayer ministry released a prayer posting on Tuesday 17 June 03 detailing the most recent LRA abuses as well as Kony's order, and requesting urgent prayer.

Since then, the LRA have raided two camps for Internally Displaced People and murdered a Catholic priest (17 June). Then on Wednesday 18 June at around 3am they raided the Redeem Children's Home, an orphanage for girls run by the Sacred Heart Sisters, and kidnapped 15 Sudanese and Ugandan girls aged between 7 - 15 yrs. A military battalion rescued 6 girls, 9 are still missing. Later that day the LRA attacked a group of nuns in Gulu.

SUDAN ACCUSED OF SUPPLYING ARMS TO THE LRA.

From 1991 until recently, the LRA had an agreement with the National Islamic Front/Government of Sudan (NIF/GoS) - that they would support the NIF/GoS in their jihad against the Southern Sudanese, if the NIF/GoS would support the LRA. For many years the LRA received arms, training and funding from Khartoum.

Following a peace accord in Nairobi in 1999 Sudan and Uganda agreed to stop supporting each other's rebel movements: the GoS agreed to stop supporting the LRA in exchange for Uganda withdrawing support for the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA).

However, on 1 September 2002, after the SPLA re-captured Torit, a strategic southern garrison town, from GoS hands, Khartoum alleged that Uganda had aided the SPLA. Some observers allege that this led to the GoS restoring its former pact with the LRA. (The GoS re-took Torit in Oct 2002.)

The relationship between the GoS and the LRA certainly appears to be restored and active, although Khartoum denies this. Recently escaped LRA soldiers report that the Sudanese Armed Forces are supplying guns, bullets, bombs, anti-personnel mines, anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers and various other munitions to the LRA. (Link 4)

Uganda's Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative (ALRPI) says Sudan's army has been supplying the LRA officers with arms and ammunition since late last year. They believe that this accounts for the fact that in recent months violence against the civilian population of northern Uganda has escalated to unprecedented levels.

MORE TO KONY THAN MEETS THE EYE

There is even more to the LRA than this - literally more than meets the eye. Joseph Kony is a spirit medium. The WEA RLC Prayer posting of 14 May 2003 quoted a social worker who was helping former LRA child soldiers. She told the BBC that the children tell her that Joseph Kony gets possessed, and whatever Kony says when he is possessed comes exactly true. The children report that when Kony is possessed they are supposed to sing and worship. The social worker said, "I believe there is a deadly evil spirit misleading him" (link 5). There is little doubt the appalling blasphemy and extreme, inhumane cruelty and evil of the LRA is demonic.

The involvement of Khartoum and the demonic power associated with Kony and the LRA give a whole new dimension to the words of Ugandan MP, Ben Wacha, who on Tuesday 17 June questioned why the Ugandan Army's "Operation Iron Fist" had failed. "How can a few hundred people be more effective than 50,000 soldiers with their tanks and helicopter gunships equipped with night vision?" he asked. "Is it the LRA or somebody else?"

The Christian religious leaders in northern Uganda are courageously forging ahead with their peace initiatives despite the LRA's threats. (Link 6)

- Elizabeth Kendal

Links

1) Reports Say Uganda Rebels Kill 18, Threaten Clergy
By Paul Busharizi, Kampala, 16 June 2003
http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=2935650

2) UGANDA: Lord's Resistance Army ordered to attack Catholic
missions. Kampala, 17 June 2003,
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN),
part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA).
http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID=34784

3) Priest in Uganda Killed in Apparent Rebel Attacks
By Cathy Majtenyi in Nairobi, 18 Jun 2003.
http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=DA74A68E-2E34-45A0-96220
1DD7FF5E782#

4) President Accuses Sudan of Rearming Rebel Fighters
By Alfred Wasike And Dennis Ojwee, 16 June 2003
New Vision (Kampala)
http://allafrica.com/stories/200306160194.html

5) Uganda's rebel war. By Caroline Pare, 2 November 2000
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/crossing_continents/1003463.st
m

6) Uganda bishops undaunted by rising rebel violence
KAMPALA, 19 June 2003 (Reuters)
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L19148861.htm

See also:
Uganda's atrocious war, By Will Ross
BBC, Kitgum, Uganda, 12 June 2003
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/africa/2982818.stm

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

PRAYER: LRA's Kony orders, "Kill all clergy"


Religious Liberty Prayer List - No. 224 - Tue 17 Jun 2003

*** includes some 18mths of prayer updates (below)

---------------------------------------------------
UGANDA: JOSEPH KONY (LRA) ORDERS, 'KILL ALL CLERGY'
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The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues its horrific reign of terror in northern Uganda, despite courageous peace-brokering efforts by church leaders, and the Ugandan Army's military offensive. The leader of the LRA, Joseph Kony, is a spirit medium and is driven by an evil spiritual power that is clearly greater than the Ugandan army or any human influence. For 16 years, the church and the predominantly Christian population of northern Uganda have suffered cruel, barbaric atrocities at the hands of this blasphemous, terrorist cult-militia.

RLP 219 reported that 50 LRA militiamen broke into a Catholic Seminary on 11 May, killing one and abducting 44 young seminarians, though three later escaped. Another four are confirmed hacked to death by the LRA when they could no longer walk after being tortured. The remaining 37 seminarians are still missing.

Even the nearly one million Ugandans who have been forced into refugee camps by the LRA rebellion are not safe from the endless terror. On 5 June the LRA clubbed 13 civilians to death in Pabbo Camp north of Gulu. In the early hours of Sunday 15 June, they attacked villages in Lira and Arpac districts, committing their signature atrocities - butchering faces and cutting off hands. At least eight people aged 6 to 61 died from machete wounds. Hundreds of homes were torched, and nearly 100 children were abducted for use as child-soldiers and sex-slaves.

Uganda's church leaders have defied Joseph Kony's threats and courageously keep trying to broker peace. Father Carlos Rodriguez of Gulu says several commanders deserted the LRA during recent peace meetings with church officials. Kony has responded by declaring war on all clergy and missions. Rodriguez says the LRA has since 'burned, bombed and desecrated churches on nine occasions'. Kony stole radio equipment from several Catholic missions and has been using it to communicate with his soldiers. It is set to a specific mission frequency, so other Catholic missions have been picking up Kony's transmissions.

On Saturday 14 June, Kony was heard to order his LRA soldiers: 'Catholic missions must be destroyed, priests and missionaries killed in cold blood and nuns beaten black and blue.' The Ugandan Army picked up the transmission and has authenticated it. An escaped LRA prisoner/child-soldier also corroborated the order.

Many Christians are therefore in front-line danger, such as the clergy trying to broker peace, Christian workers seeking to shelter children (like the Noah's Ark Children's Ministry Uganda - RLP 219), those trying to bring deep healing and deliverance to traumatised former LRA prisoners/child-soldiers/sex-slaves, and the Christian doctors and carers helping victims of facial mutilation.

(Recent LRA defectors report that Government of Sudan uniformed troops are supplying the LRA with truckloads of advanced weaponry and ammunition.)

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR:

* God to bind all the demonic spirits allied with Joseph Kony and the LRA, to keep drawing defectors from all ranks of the LRA, and effect the escape and rescue of hundreds of abducted children.

* divine protection and blessing for all clergy, nuns, and Christian workers, especially those in front-line danger.

* northern Uganda's pastors and teachers, that they will not lose faith or hope, but will be able to shepherd God's children through these horrific times.

* divine intervention to come from God's own mighty forces, with the Lord bursting through the LRA and ending its rebellion forever.

'The Lord has done it!' David exclaimed. 'He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!' So David named that place Baal-perazim (which means 'the Lord who bursts through'.) 2 Samuel 5:20

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PRAYER UPDATES

extracted from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 225 - Wed 25 Jun 2003

NORTHERN UGANDA: where the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), the blasphemous, terrorist cult-militia led by spirit medium Joseph Kony, has been wreaking havoc on the predominantly Christian population. The LRA has now declared it will target the Church specifically in revenge for its peace-making efforts.

UPDATE: RLP 224, on northern Uganda and the LRA, was released on Tuesday night, 17 June 03. That Tuesday, the LRA raided two camps for displaced people and murdered a Catholic priest. On the Wednesday they raided an orphanage and kidnapped many young girls. Later they attacked four nuns in Gulu. There was little significant LRA activity reported in the week that followed, but on 24 June, the Catholic church-run Lwala Girls Secondary School in Soroti was raided by the LRA and about 100 girls abducted. We must remain vigilant in praying that the demonic forces associated with Joseph Kony and the LRA will be bound, and for the release of kidnapped children. May God bless the Acholi Christian leaders' peace initiative and cause more LRA defections. Since RLP 219 in May 03, several LRA commanders have defected during church-run peace talks, which is why Kony issued orders to target the Church. Since we prayed last week, Kony's deputy has requested peace talks, and senior LRA commander Vincent Otti has sought a cease-fire. Pray that God will bring the LRA reign of terror to a just end.

-----------
extracted from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 234 - Wed 27 Aug 2003

UGANDA: VIGILANT PRAYER REQUIRED AGAINST THE LRA

God is answering our prayers about the blasphemous, terrorist cult-militia, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). They have not been able to carry out their threat to 'kill all clergy', an order given on 14 June 2003. LRA soldiers are defecting - 106 in July - or are dying in battle with the Ugandan army, including commanders and a senior witchdoctor. Large numbers of kidnapped children are being rescued - 640 in July. However, children are still dying and being kidnapped, the LRA still wreaks havoc and creates terror, and Joseph Kony (a greatly feared spirit-medium) still controls them.

In mid July, when the LRA forced abducted 9 to 15-y-o child soldiers into a river to test its depth, 45 of them drowned. An LRA massacre in Soroti district recently claimed some 60 lives. On 17 August, LRA soldiers slashed to death 13 former abducted child soldiers who had been rescued and were living freely in Lira district. Though the army arrived and prevented further deaths, some 40 children were abducted. President Museveni responded by challenging the LRA to come for him instead of the children. On 24-25 August 03, the LRA attacked Teso region, slaughtering 50 people in Akeriau village alone. In late July, an army raid found a map marked with most of the Catholic locations in the Katakwi district marked on it, indicating that Kony still intends to target the church. Kony is presently setting up more bases in Southern Sudan.

God said to the people of Jerusalem in Isaiah 22:11 (NLT), 'All your feverish plans are to no avail because you never ask God for help.' Pray for the Ugandan government, particularly President Museveni, to publicly turn to God for help.

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extracted from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 238 - Wed 24 Sep 2003

UGANDA: and the troubles in the north due to Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) terror. In the August Update, we requested prayer 'for the Ugandan government, particularly President Museveni, to publicly turn to God for help', quoting Isaiah 22:11.

UPDATE: On 10 September 03, President Museveni and other MPs joined the Soroti Pastors and Elders Forum and people of the north in a day of prayer and fasting in Soroti town. And God is answering prayer. On 8 Sep, the UPDF (Ugandan Army) found three underground LRA armouries. On 16 Sept 03 in Gulu, the UPDF dug up more ammunition stocks, including 84 bombs. Over 250 children were rescued during September, many being seriously ill. Also, Sudan has permitted the Ugandan Army once again to pursue the LRA inside Sudan. As well, 'New Vision' newspaper (Uganda) reported on 17 Sep that over 100 LRA rebels, including six senior commanders, had surrendered in the past month. Please continue to pray for God to bring peace, restoration, reparation and reconciliation to Northern Uganda. Pray for the Church as it leads the way, and that Joseph Kony's occult-inspired terror will end forever.

-----------------------

extracted from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 244 - Wed 29 Oct 2003

NORTHERN UGANDA: LRA NOT FINISHED YET

The intense spiritual battle continues between the blasphemous terrorist cult militia, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA, led by spirit medium Joseph Kony) and the people of God (local church and intercessors worldwide). Time is certainly running out for the LRA. God is answering prayer, with kidnapped children being rescued and rebels defecting. However on 20 October 03, desperate LRA rebels were hunting for 'juju', occult charms they believe bring spiritual power. Near Soroti town, they ambushed and killed a man, Michael, with his sons, Moses and Samuel, and collected their organs, to be dried and worn as juju. Please pray for God to bring the LRA to an end. Pray especially for the Church in Northern Uganda as it leads the way in prayer, peace negotiations, refugee care, and rehabilitation.

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extracted from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 256 - Wed 28 Jan 2004

UGANDA: On 31 December, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader and spirit medium, Joseph Kony, killed 21 of his wives and children as they tried to escape his LRA camp in Sudan because they were starving. Many rebels, who are mostly kidnapped children and have known no other life, have deserted the LRA ranks in response to a government amnesty. The UPDF (Ugandan army) recently killed the LRA's chief army commander, Yadin Tolbert Nyeko, who ranked below only Vincent Otti and Joseph Kony. WHile the army claims to have virtually defeated the LRA, Acholi Archbishop John Baptist Odama says, 'The LRA presence in the north is still strong. They are still killing people in Lira, so I don't know what the UPDF thinks it is doing claiming they have nearly defeated them.' (22 January 04)

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extraced from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 260 - Wed 25 Feb 2004

UGANDA: LRA MASSACRE IN LIRA

On Saturday 21 February the blasphemous terrorist militia, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacked a camp for displaced people in Lira, Northern Uganda. These people are mostly Christians being primarily cared for by the Church. The LRA attacked with heavy weapons (source unknown), torched some 500 huts and then swept through the camp killing civilians. The death toll is presently 213. There are multitudes of burn victims. The LRA commit these
atrocities in the name of our LORD. LRA leader Joseph Kony, a spirit medium, claims to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Every spiritual breakthrough in Northern Uganda seems to be met with an increased level of demonic, occult-inspired terror. Whenever the army boasts of killing rebels, we need to remember these rebels are mostly abducted children who never wanted to be there and will now never return home. One Catholic priest described the children as 'acting under the effect of a collective hypnosis ... acts beyond any human imagination'. It is Joseph Kony himself who must be stopped, if not by the military, which for some strange reason has been unsuccessful over 18 years, then by God's intervention. Please pray for God to deliver the Ugandan people from this evil.

Isaiah 59:14-20 excerpts: 'The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. So his own arm worked salvation for him. According to what they have done so he will repay. For he [the Lord] will come like a pent-up flood.'

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extracted from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 265 - Tue 30 Mar 2004

UGANDA: SUDANESE FIGHTING LRA

In early March, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) militants killed several Southern Sudanese and stole some 3,000 head of cattle in Torit district. As in Northern Uganda, the predominantly Christian population in Southern Sudan has suffered terribly at the hands of this blasphemous terror militia over many years. A ceasefire with the Government of Sudan (GoS) has freed up the Southern People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to join the fight against the LRA. Now the SPLA and the Ugandan military (UPDF) are united in their determination to rid the region of the curse of the LRA for all time. The Islamic GoS, which formerly funded, trained and armed the LRA to terrorise South Sudan and North Uganda, has also turned against them. The GoS recently agreed to arrest Joseph Kony, the spirit-medium leader of the LRA, and hand him over if they find him in GoS territory. Please continue to pray that South Sudan and North Uganda will soon be delivered of this demonic terror. May they see the arm of God bring victory and peace.

'The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.' (Proverbs 15:29)
'Let the wicked fall into their own nets...' (Psalm 141:10a)
'...blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.' (Psalm 144:15b)

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extracted from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 269 - Thu 29 Apr 2004

UGANDA: LRA UPDATE

Small bands of desperate Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) soldiers have been raiding towns and refugee camps in the far north of Uganda frantically seeking food and medicines. This has forced some 20,000 Northern Ugandan and Southern Sudanese refugees to flee their homes and crops in terror, creating a humanitarian emergency. A 19 April 04 newspaper column by Joachim Buwembo, editor of the Sunday Vision of Kampala, reports the churches of southern Uganda have suddenly been 'awakened' to the suffering in the north. He says this is an 'evolution of attitude' for the people of the south after a decade of relative indifference. Buwembo reports that the LRA and their leader, spirit medium Joseph Kony, and the suffering of the northerners are now the talk of southern Uganda and the focus of church prayers. He reports that suddenly 'impatience with [Kony] is giving way to desperation and finally reflection. Southerners have now taken the matter to Jesus. They want divine intervention.' Praise God for this 'awakening' and pray for God to answer 'the prayers of many' and bring this terror to an end.

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extraced from Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 295 - Tue 26 Oct 2004

UGANDA: LRA NEARLY FINISHED

The blasphemous terror militia, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by spirit medium Joseph Kony, has terrorised, brutalised and traumatised the mainly Christian people of Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda for 18 years. Some 20,000 children have been abducted and more than 1.6 million people have been displaced. In May 2003 the WEA RL Prayer ministry embraced it as a religious persecution issue because the victims are predominantly Christian and the LRA is clearly occult. Christians worldwide took up the prayer challenge and an incredible spiritual conflict ensued. By May 2004 the battle was almost over. The north has been relatively peaceful for several months now and there is talk of redevelopment starting. Multitudes of children have been rescued and LRA commanders have defected in droves, leaving only a small yet troublesome LRA remnant. The Ugandan Army captured Kony's chief bodyguard in mid September, and his most senior field commander, Lt-Col Otim Latin Munu, on 13 October. LRA leader, Joseph Kony, and LRA deputy chief, Vincent Otti, remain at large. Please continue to ask God to bind the demonic forces driving Joseph Kony and the LRA, and bring the LRA terror to an end.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Uganda: The Children, the Church and the LRA

Religious Liberty Prayer List - No. 219 - Wed 14 May 2003

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UGANDA: THE CHILDREN, THE CHURCH AND THE LRA
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The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is an armed rebel militia fighting the government of Uganda. The LRA is nothing more than a blasphemous, terrorist cult-militia, being mainly lightly armed foot-soldiers (presently 300), and drugged, conscripted child soldiers (presently 600). Yet for 16 years, the LRA's campaign of terror has been unstoppable in northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. They have kidnapped more than 10,000 children for front-line fighting.

Calling themselves "The Lord's" army, they claim to want a government built on the Biblical Ten Commandments. However, their trademark is unrivalled cruelty, brutality and raw, sadistic evil. The LRA receives support from the defeated and exiled Holy Spirit force established by the Catholic heretic and self-proclaimed prophetess, Alice Lakwena. However, the bulk of LRA funding, training and arms has come from the National Islamic Front in Khartoum, Sudan.

The LRA's leader is Joseph Kony, a spirit medium controlling his fighters through his aura of terror and mysticism. A social worker helping rescued LRA child soldiers says the children tell her that whatever Kony says when he gets possessed comes exactly true. When Kony is possessed the children are supposed to sing and worship. She says, "I believe there is a deadly evil spirit misleading him. I'm not sure if they worship Kony or if they worship the spirit that is in Kony. They say the reason Kony kills so many people is because the spirit in him feeds on fresh human blood." There is little doubt the appalling blasphemy and extreme cruelty and evil of the LRA is demonic.

On Sunday night, 11 May, 50 LRA militiamen broke into the Catholic Lacor Junior Seminary in northern Uganda. They killed one and abducted 44 young seminarians aged 12-18, although three later escaped. In Gulu, Noah's Ark Children's Ministry Uganda (NACMU) has set up a safe haven for children at night. Many children walk up to 8 km from their village to Gulu, just to get a night's safe sleep, before walking home the next day. On 7 May, the LRA raided a village 1 km from Gulu, taking 26 children, as well as a Catholic mission and village 2 km from Gulu, where they took 30 children. The same day, the NACMU had a record influx of 1,203 terrified children seeking protection from the LRA. Set up to cater for 300 children per night, Noah's Ark is straining at the seams.

Uganda is a predominantly Christian country with complete freedom of religion. The Church is strong and growing and has seen revival both before and since the years of extreme persecution under Presidents Amin and Obote. Persecution of the Church takes many forms, but behind each is the one prince of persecution who seeks to prevent, divert, poison or destroy faith in Jesus Christ by any means. (Ephesians 6:12)

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR:

* God to bind all demonic forces at work amongst the LRA.

* God in his great mercy to grant safety, release and healing to the kidnapped children.

* Joseph Kony to face the justice of the Lord and either be delivered from his demonic bondage or, if he is a willing partner with evil, be judged by God so the nation might be delivered of Kony, bringing the LRA to an end for all time.

"We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods. We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds." 2 Corinthians 10:3,4.