You may find the following story a bit disconcerting. It was for me. But it does reflect the reality of what Christians face in various parts of the world. What bothered me was the response of the preachers, to be honest. Why did they flee and now, why are they going to press charges? Maybe the two responses are related? I certainly have some unanswered questions.
Read the story over and then give me your comments (keeping in mind our comments policy). Who is in the right here? Who is in the wrong? Is this persecution? If so, did these preachers pass the test? If you are a Christians there anything in this incident that bothers you? If you are not a Christian, what is your response to this incident?
Uganda: Herbalist Challenges Evangelists
28 June 2009
The New Vision
Kampala — A herbalist in Masaka town challenged visiting preachers to a show of strength at his shrine on Wednesday evening in Mukudde zone in Nyendo Sennyange division.
The Christians from Bukakkata Evangelical Church and Health Building Church, Misaali, arrived at the shrine and began preaching. They were led by pastor Patrick Male Kakooza.
The herbalist, known as Prof. Kasagazi Kansaze, challenged the Christians to demonstrate their healing powers.
"I also have powers, which I believe are stronger than yours. I want you to show me what you can do. If my powers prove stronger than yours, you should join me, or else I'll join you if you happen to disprove me," Kansaze proposed to the evangelists, who seemed to think he was joking.
Kansaze then lit a wood fire and instructed his clients, who had been joined by some residents who live near the shrine, to start singing songs used to invoke spirits.
At this point, the evangelists started to flee, some of them abandoning their Bibles. Pastor Male escaped but the residents forced some, including Betty Nannyonjo, to stay and watch the herbalist's display.
"You neglect your culture and jump off with foreign cultures. You come here and preach to us the word which was sent to the Corinthians. Are we from that part of the world?" Kansaze, who seemed to be possessed, asked while stepping into the fire and putting burning wood into his mouth.
He grabbed Nannyonjo and asked her to step into the fire like he had done, but Nannyonjo broke free and escaped.
The residents chanted and praised the herbalist. Nannyonjo later told The New Vision that she would file a case against Kansaze.
"He welcomed us to his shrine. Why did he turn violent?" Nannyonjo asked.