The Earthly Economy Versus The Spiritual Economy: Uganda’s Covid-19 Dilemma
In the process of defending the continued closure of the places of worship, most of these apologists have never forgotten to mention a certain singular reason, that is; “other places are opened not because they are safe, but because we are bothered of the future of the county’s economy” this is a post that I personally met on numerous social media platforms. Don’t be tempted to ask my comments and replies on those platforms. However many who are concerned about religion and understand the meaning and the power of fellowship, communal prayer and church gatherings ask whether the places of worship are the most vulnerable as far as spread of the virus is concerned as compared to public transport and market places that bring forth people from far and wide together and even in some cases for over an hour. This isn’t my point of concern as such but I am simply concerned about the relationship between the church and the economy of a state right from the advent of the churches and mosques in Uganda.
Allow me start by making a statement that the churches and the mosques gave birth to Uganda’s current economy. Meditating on this premise thoroughly, one can never fail to discover that without the churches and the mosques, the current body of civilisation Uganda holds wouldn’t have existed the way it does simply because it were these two bodies that bore and also shaped it. One must not forget that it were the missionaries from Europe, mainly the Church Missionary society CMS, the White Fathers, the Mill Hill Fathers, and the Comboni Missionaries that introduced a formal education in Uganda in the late nineteenth centuries. They educated the children of the chiefs who later worked as clerks and civil servants. Later formal education was made universal. For this reason, the Uganda Episcopal Conference Education Policy of 1997 reiterates that “formal education was initiated by religious denominations to eradicate ignorance from society”. More still, they went ahead to build schools, hospitals, and roads. On the other hand, it was the Muslim traders who established trade in Uganda. In fact, we owe these people a lot as far as our economy is concerned.
Most importantly, never forget the role of religion in forming the conscience and the attitude of the people. The church has as its basic role the evangelisation and the sanctification of the people and thus, a people already sanctified by the action of the church are made instruments of peace and love which is a number ONE and a CORE factor for steady economic growth. Any government that wants it economy to grow must first sanctify and shape the conscience and morality of her people. This is only best done in the church through the sacraments which can never be received virtually or scientifically. For instance, how is one able to receive total intended sanctification by Baptism, celebration of Eucharist/Mass, Penance or anointing, etc. over the radio or T.V? Can reception of Eucharist be televised? Do all the citizens have these radios and the TVs or YouTube?
Let our desire for an earthly economy not come at the expense of spiritual economy.
For God and my Country
By Seminarian James Kakura James