A village in the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda. (Photo by Pastor Rich Friday)
Once known as the pearl of Africa because of its rich resources, beautiful and fertile landscape, incredible wildlife and many diverse peoples who have called this part of Africa their home for ages, Uganda experienced decades of intense turbulence that nearly led to its destruction in the 20th century. Part of this instability was the result of many tribes and ethnic groups suddenly being merged under one flag after gaining independence from Britain in 1962. These groups can be separated into four larger divisions: the Bantu (66 percent), Nilotic (24 percent), Sudanic (7 percent) and all other peoples (3 percent). The sudden independence with such diversity of tribal and ethnic groups left Uganda in a difficult and dangerous position, ripe for power-thirsty men to assume and abuse control.
For more than two decades Uganda struggled through dictatorial regimes, guerrilla wars, large-scale human rights violations, and the brutal deaths of hundreds of thousands. This is especially true of the Idi Amin regime (1971-1979), and even more recently with the cult-like militia group, The Lord’s Resistance Army.
Praising God at a crusade organized by C4C partner ministry Hope Mission International. (Photo by Pastor Rich Friday)
Currently, the nation of Uganda is relatively safe and stable. In 1986, Yoweri Museveni assumed the leadership of the country and has helped to slowly usher in relative peace and prosperity. Although former regimes greatly restricted and even persecuted Christians, now there is freedom. In fact, approximately 84 percent of Ugandans consider themselves Christian. However, according to Operation World, “for many, being Christian simply means not being Muslim.” In other words, many are Christian in name only while freely and openly participating in traditional folk religion practices, materialism, polygamy, and other immoral behaviors.
Location: East Central Africa. Leader: Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Population: 35.9 million. Primary Religions: Roman Catholic (41.9%), Protestant (42%), Muslim (12.1%).
Where in the world?
Uganda (shaded green) is located in East Central Africa and borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania. (CIA World Factbook)
- Regional peace (specifically in the Congo, Kenya and Rwanda) and internal peace (among the many ethnic groups and with the remaining members of the Lord’s Resistance Army).
- People to fully recover (mentally, physically and spiritually) from years of violent and oppressive regimes.
- True followers of Christ to grow in their faith and be bold witnesses to the unsaved.
- Nominal Christians (those in name only) to become true disciples of Jesus.
- Muslims and those who practice folk religions to come to the saving knowledge of Christ.
- God to bless and further develop Climbing For Christ’s ministry to those who call the Rwenzori Mountains their home.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” – Isaiah 9:2