Orthodox Pope considers more dioceses for Uganda.

5081 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
The Orthodox Church leader says expansion of the churchs structures will make it stronger.

The leader of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II has underscored the need for more dioceses in effort to expand and strengthen his church.

Pope Tawadros II who has been on a visit in Northern Uganda's Gulu District says he was elated to hear from the believers there asking for more provinces and dioceses.

He said in visit in other parts of Africa and elsewhere in the World he has always been asked to put other development projects like schools, and hospitals but did not receive requests for more church structures like diocese.
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Pope Tawadros II while addressing a congregation of the Greater Northern Uganda Diocese at Saint Nectarios church in Gulu Municipality promised to meet the House of Bishops in Egypt to convey the message from Greater Northern Uganda.
He said the Church will consider establishing over 20 more Dioceses in Africa. He said the Northern Uganda request will be separately debated upon.
Pope Tawadros II's visit to Gulu comes at the time of growing division in the Orthodox Church in Uganda. The Greater Northern Orthodox Church is demanding for autonomy from the Kampala Metropolis under Archbishop, Jonah Luwanga.

In July this year, the Greater North Orthodox Church broke away from Kampala Metropolitan Orthodox Church led by the Archbishop Jonah Lwanga citing corruption, segregation, sectarianism and poor leadership. As a result, the Greater North Orthodox Church appealed Pope Tawadros II for intervention.
Pope Tawadros II appealed for Unity among the two parties and urged them to remain patient until the House of Bishops meets in Egypt to decide.
Father Emmanuel Oruk, one of those agitating for a new diocese says the Orthodox Church in Uganda will be expanded if Northern Uganda is granted a diocese status.
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Charles Otto, the Vice Chairperson Laity at the Greater North Orthodox Church says the Church has been in Uganda for about one hundred years. He however says it has not spread to much of the country over the years.  Ottoclaims the slow growth is partly due to what he called disorganization at the Kampala metropolis.

Archbishop Jonah Lwanga, the Kampala Metropolitan Bishop says that there is no reason why a new diocese.
Lwanga says the entire Orthodox Church in the country needs to be reorganized in terms of structure.  

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Father Oruk insists that the Greater North Orthodox Church should be independent from  Kampala Metropolis with power to raise funds and support through the mother Church.

The Orthodox Church was first established in Uganda in about 1923 in Luweero district. It spread to Lango, Acholi, Karamoja, Teso and Kumam in 1936. Its congregation in the country is said to be 1 percent of the 35 million Ugandans.



About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.