Kato Mivule | July 15, 2010

It is with sadness and great sorrow that a number of Ugandans perished on July 11th 2010 as a result of terrorist attacks that Somalia’s Al Shabab Terror group has claimed responsibility. As of writing this, the death toll is 90 people dead including scores of those injured. Among the dead include Ugandan Nationals, Born Again Christians, and even an American Missionary from the United States.

Our prayers, thoughts and sympathy to all those who lost loved ones , including those still in hospitals.

Uganda has a long history with Somalia, a number of Somalian Refugees have sought a safe haven in Kampala, Uganda and for years worked mainly in the Transportation Industry, and largely never having been involved in acts contrary to the Law.

However, in recent years when the “War on Terror” was declared by President George W Bush, Ugandans joined the “Coalition of the willing” and sent a contingent of almost 6000 Ugandan Soldiers to help with Peace keeping Mission in Somalia.

The Somalian Warlords (Al Shabab) warned that Ugandans should pull out of Somalia else Uganda would suffer consequences. It is on July 11, 2010 that as hundreds were glued to their TV sets watching the World Cup that acts of terror were carried out against Ugandans and foreigners who had gathered for the World Cup festivities.

However, how should we as Christians respond? Those who have read my articles for a while know that I am anti-war, anti-violence, and a strong believer in the none violence approach to settling conflicts; therefore I would give my opinion along the same lines. This in noway trivializes the enormous work that Police and Law enforces do in protecting citizens. My prayer is that this even would not be used as another pretext for more wars and thus more violence.

A number of Ugandan Christians are angry and seek revenge, retribution, and justice; which all is understandable. Yet we have to remember what The Lord Jesus Christ taught concerning such matters. There are calls by some Christians for Uganda to escalate the war in Somalia and deal decisively with the terrorists. All this is understandable. However as Christians we need to step back and reflect in light of what Jesus Christ taught – and that is the better way of peace.

So, some will ask, should Justice not be served? I agree that Justice should be served but if there is any Peaceful means to solve the troubles of violence in Africa which we have had for so long, then I would take the route of Peace and Reconciliation. Somalia is a failed State and another wave of retributive violence will not help solve the troubles there.

Secondly, Africa has been and is still prone to religious wars. It is not too long ago that Christians got into bloody fights with Moslems in Nigeria and hundreds were killed. In Egypt, Coptic Christians faced riots from angry mobs of radical Moslems. Therefore, it is in the interest of African Christians that the route of Peace, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation should be sought and worked for diligently.

Rather than foster thoughts of revenge or call to arms and continual bombing of Somalia, it is time that we as Christians will be instruments of Peace, Forgiveness and Reconciliation. I am not advocating for Ecumenism or a One World Religion but simply a practicing of the words that Jesus Christ taught His Disciples.

The New Testament teachings on Non Violence as THE Christian Response to Violent acts against Christians is overwhelming and for those Christians who still take the New Testament Teachings as Binding, below are some New Testament scriptures to think about…

Mat 5:38-39 KJV Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: (39) But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mat 5:9 KJV Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Mat 5:44 KJV But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 7:12 KJV Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Mat 26:52 KJV Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Luk 6:37 KJV Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Luk 6:27-28 KJV But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, (28) Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

Rom 12:17 KJV Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Rom 12:21 KJV Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

1Th 5:15 KJV See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

1Pe 3:9 KJV Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

Don’t listen to Preachers and Pastors who work hard at pleasing politicians on their call for retribution and revenge. The New Testament is clear that we are to do good and NOT to return evil for evil but return good for evil. Perhaps now is the time to reach out to the Somalia Community in the Kisenyi slums of Kampala and minister to them, bless them, provide the necessities that they need, and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in deeds.

Yes, the West might have its own interest in pushing the Ugandan Government to keep the fight in Somalia but at what cost to the poor Africans in this proxy war? In Uganda and East Africa at large Moslems and Christians have been living side by side at least fairly peaceful – co-existing. However, there is a risk that a religious war might arise with Christians seeking revenge against the Moslems and worse, Ugandan populations seeking revenge against the Somalian Refugees in Kampala’s slums, Uganda’s Capital.

One Ugandan Christian Blogger thought out of desperation that the only way to fight such terror is to “preach the gospel and turn all Moslems into Christians”. Well, such statements are way out of reality and some even borrow from Dominionist Christians who believe that God has to use “Christian Governments” to enforce a Christian Theocracy in the world. We have to watch out for such false sentiments that are unbiblical and contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Our prayers are that Ugandan Christians will not give in to anger, revenge, retribution, and ‘Christian Militant-ism’ but rather choose the way of Peace, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation, as The Lord has given us such a ministry – Ministry of Reconciliation. We pray for the Ugandan Secular Leaders that perhaps they will seek ways of Peace to resolve this complex Somalia issue and seek an exist strategy out of Somalia peacefully and let Somalians self determine peacefully.

God Bless Your
Kato Mivule