Big Story: Old Churches Weary of ‘Deliverance’ Preachers Invading Arua

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Rev. Fr. Pius Yobuta, the Parish Priest of Christ the King Catholic Parish – Arua City after celebrating Mass.The parish Priest of Christ the King Catholic Center Arua City has warned Christians against going for what he called “witch-craft related deliverance prayers’.

While giving a quarterly report of activities in the Parish from November last year during the second Mass at the Parish Center today, Rev. Fr. Pius Yobuta commended Christians for remaining faithful and prayerful during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year to date but cautioned them against joining people who organize what he calls Witch prayers. 

Fr. Pius particularly pointed out places like Awindiri, Pajulu and Tanganyika wards which are fast growing slum areas in Arua City that he says have people who organize prayers commonly referred to in Lugabara as “Mungu Ziza” literally meaning ‘Praying/Giving Praise to God’ 

“I want to say it openly here that I discourage you from going for such prayers which are associated with witchcraft, stick to your faith and remain firm without being deviated from it,” warned Fr. Yobuta. 

Justus Adrapi, a member of the Parish Council says they have tasked their Christian Community leaders to sensitize their members against indulging in activities of such prayer groups, which are not part of what the Catholic church has endorsed. 

According to reports from the Parish Council, some of the Christians have resorted to going for ‘Mungu Ziza’ in ungazetted prayer places, which are currently mushrooming in Arua City. Many of the prayer sessions are reportedly conducted late in the evening and night hours and attract people from all religious backgrounds and walks of life, who go to seek for intercessions to their personal and home problems.

Reports indicate that organizers of the prayers claim God answers the requests of all who participate in them instantly. Last year, security operatives in Arua intervened and stopped a lunch time Prayer session at ‘Paradize’, a club hall in the center of Arua town in which a self-proclaimed pastor started targeting business community, who he said should come and pray for one hour for the success of their businesses.

Before it was stopped, crowds of business men and women thronged Arua Paradize to pray for their businesses and also gave special offertory to pray for them. With the take-off of Arua City status, many self-styled Pastors and Street Preachers have kicked off their businesses along major streets of Arua City, preaching at the top of their voices, while some of them have set up make-shift churches along corridors and on road reserves to woo followers.


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