Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has decried the level of moral degeneration in society today and called for a return to the strong spirit of revivalism that characterised the Christian faith since the early 1930s.
The remarks were contained in a speech read for him by Gen. Salim Saleh Akandwanaho during a fundraising ceremony over the weekend to raise funds for the construction of a new Gahini Cathedral in Kayonza District.
Located in the Eastern Province, Gahini is the oldest Anglican Church establishment in Rwanda.
It is known to be the spiritual home of the Anglican movement in the region since the early 1930s.
“Regrettably, the revival fires are not burning vigorously today as they were in the past. There is need for revival and renewal of these flames in our churches and society today. The church is facing erosion of moral standards and integrity,” Museveni said.
Ugandans and friends of Gahini Cathedral raised Uganda Shs150 million (over Rwf30 million) in cash and pledges for the construction of the Cathedral.
The construction is budgeted to cost Rwf2 billion and the new cathedral is expected to be ready by 2016.
Museveni underscored initially, that as the East African revival message was shared, people were brought together in bonds of love.
“All barriers crumbled and seemed less insignificant. The unity these revivalists found in Christ was more than anything else,” he added.
The ceremony was marked by performances from Intore Masamba, a renowned Rwandan traditional artiste, Amarebe dance troupe, Kampala’s Quela band and Gahini church’s Rays of Hope choir.
Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda Frank Mugambage pointed out that it took so long to reconstruct the church because Rwanda was going through a series of insecurity.
Rwanda Anglican Mission movement established its first station at Gahini hill in 1925 and grew through the revival of the 1930s and 1940s.
“We have the foundation and with this assistance we shall do the rest of the construction for three months nonstop,” Alexis Birindabagabo, the Bishop of Gahini Diocese, told the audience.
Denis Karera, the chairperson of the cathedral construction committee, took part in auctioning two art pieces and commended Ugandans for their commitment to the Anglican mission movement cause.