Christians Criticised For Putting Jesus Out Of Christmas

The Archbishop of Kampala Diocese Dr. Paul Ssemogerere has expressed concern over what he called Christians displacing Jesus Christ from the center of their Christmas celebrations. Traditionally, Christians the world over celebrate Christmas in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

Christians observe Christmas as a holy day marking the birth of Jesus Christ, reflecting on their faith, helping the needy, and reuniting with their families among others practices. However, Ssemogerere observed that in the modern world, people are increasingly not focusing on the right and recommended methods to observe Christmas and instead are utilizing the day to commit crimes and sins. 

He claimed that many Christians today view the day as one in, which they should drink themselves foolishly, commit crimes, hurt people, and engage in other inappropriate behaviors.  

He added that some people no longer attend Mass or church services on the day, adding that the situation has even been made worse by the most recent limitations put in place because of the Covid-19 outbreak which restricted church attendance. 

However, however added that now that churches have reopened, there is no excuse for anyone not to go to church or to think about their faith during the day. 

Additionally, the Archbishop reminded the faithful of the significance of generosity and love towards those in need, especially in the current hard economic times. He said Christmas means nothing if those with means don’t help the needy to also celebrate.   

Ssemogerere, who was leading his first Christmas Mass since assuming full administrative control of the archdiocese, couldn’t help but share with the faithful how he was finding his new responsibilities. Ssemogerere added that throughout the months he has been in charge of the Archdiocese, he has encountered numerous obstacles and other dangerous things. But he emphasized that he would succeed if Catholics prayed for him and helped him. 

When called upon to speak to the audience, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, the State Minister for Higher Education drawing from the Archbishop’s remarks, said he was also startled that even media advertisements and messages weren’t talking about Christmas as they should but were instead addressing completely unrelated issues. 

Muyingo, a Catholic himself, challenged those in attendance to rethink Christmas and how it is observed. 

He also used the occasion of Christmas to caution parents about how much they should enjoy and spend because they will have to send their kids back to school the next year.

Away from Lubaga, Dr. Joseph Sserwadda, the Presiding Apostle of the Victory Christian Center in Ndeeba, preached against sin and called upon the faithful to lead a life that pleases God. He said that when a nation fears God, it is blessed, and the other needs are easily taken care of. ‘We live in a corrupted world, and each person’s role is to identify bad behavior and talk about it for those in authority to take action,” he said. 

Sserwadda condemned the holding of the Nyege Nyege festival, an annual carnival, which he referred to as an avenue for promoting immorality such as nudity, fornication, and all other forms of illegal sexual relationships. He also asked Uganda’s representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly to speak against and use every mechanism at their disposal to fight the proposed East African Community Sexual and Reproductive Health Bill, 2021. 

He is concerned that the bill seeks to legalize homosexuality and abortions, acts that he said are against African norms and Godly wishes. He thanked leaders such as President Yoweri Museveni, the former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, and the current Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayeebwa for openly rejecting the legalization of same-sex relationships even at high-level meetings where in attendance are people who promote the acts and want to make them universally acceptable. 

At Christ the King Church, Msgr Joseph Mugambe who presided over the mass called upon Christians to live in the light of Jesus Christ who has been born today.“Jesus came on earth as a little boy to show us that we should be humble before God. All of us Christians are little children before God,” Mugambe.  Mugamba also cautioned the Christians against immoral behaviors during the Christmas festivities urging them to emulate Jesus who has been born in their lives wherever they go.       

At the House of Prayer Ministries Makerere Kikoni, pastored by Aloysius Bugingo, Pentecostal Church leaders were urged to use this time to pronounce themselves against homosexuality. Bugingo gave the Pentecostal church leaders up to December 31 to speak about the danger of homosexuality and urge their followers to desist from it, adding that those who will remain silent will be dubbed as promoters of homosexuality. 

He thanked President Museveni for speaking out strongly against homosexuality whenever he appears in international media. Bugingo also applauded the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu who also issued a strong warning against those promoting homosexuality in Uganda while delivering his Christmas message earlier this month.  

Speaking to the same congregation, Lands State Minister, Sam Mayanja, who was the special guest at the church, thanked Bugingo for frequently praying for the President and the first family in his daily sermons, which he said bring peace to the country. Mayanja also urged Pentecostals to praise President Museveni for instituting religious freedom in the country, which allows all religions to exist.     

In Fort Portal, the Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese Rt Rev Reuben Kisembo advised young people to desist from being recruited into rebel activities. He said he was taken aback to watch a video of children who were allegedly arrested as part of the ADF rebels who had attacked Ntoroko district about. Two weeks ago. Kisembo said that these are minors who are not yet independent to make their own decisions and thus recruiting them is a violation of their human rights. 

Bishop Kisembo further explained that seeing such young children in rebel activities is a portrayal of how parents are neglecting their parental role of nurturing the young generation into responsible citizens. Kisembo also asked young people to desist from sexual promiscuity that will result in early marriages, pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. 

No one has ever died from sexual starvation, but people have died from the consequences of sexual immorality. Therefore, young people, take care of yourselves until the right time,” Kisembo said.

In Soroti, Father Romanos Etwap, the Parish Priest of Immaculate Cathedral castigated people who have forgotten the meaning of Christmas by turning the day into one on which all manner of sins is committed. 

Etwap said that many people have planned to drink, dance, and involve themselves in immorality- forgetting the repentance and forgiveness that the birth of Christ brings.  

On the other hand, Rev. Kosea Odongo, the Anglican Bishop of Soroti Diocese urged Christians to celebrate Christmas soberly and with righteousness. Odongo said that Christmas should be for love, joy, and justice for all.   

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