All pastors to have theological training, declare sources of income — Government new policy says

Prophet Elvis Mbonye arrives at Zoe Grounds to deliver a heavenly broadcast.

As it stands, anyone can open up a church anywhere in Uganda and automatically become a Pastor, Apostle, Prophet, among other titles. 

However, according to a government mooted plan that has been approved by Cabinet, this practice will soon be history. 

According to Ethics Minister, Fr. Simon Lokodo, all preachers in the country are to be required to have theological training before opening up a church. This he says, is to protect Ugandans from misleading messages and wrongful Biblical interpretation by the ‘men of God.’

“Some pastors are misleading their flock to abandon medicine, drop out of school or sell their property. This will deal with all these issues,” he said. 

Lokodo also added that the new policy will also seek to enforce financial accountability and transparency among the churches by tasking the church leaders to declare their sources of income. 

“The pastor will, among other things, be required to declare their source of income, whether locally and internationally sourced,” Lokodo said.

Gerald Rovis Masinde, the lead pastor at Bethel Covenant Connection told Matooke Republic when contacted for a comment that this new policy is welcome as it will bring the much-needed sanity among churches. 

“There must be at least a bit of professionalism here. You can never find a teacher treating the patient and the doctor teaching students. Why then do we have anyone preaching the Word of God?”

Rovis added that the new policy will eliminate the wolves from the sheep since some pastors are in the profession for the money and self-actualisation as opposed to helping people out of tough situations. 

According to Lokodo, the government will also cover other religions including the Moslem faith.

Earlier this year, Rwanda banned the creations of new churches unless the founders has proven theological background.