Clergies in Lira have disagreed with a proposal by the Arch bishop of Kampala diocese Dr Cyprian Lwanga of allowing government to deduct tithes of working Christians and hand it to church because of defaulting attitude by the unfaithful church goers.
Bishop Tom Ibrahim Okello of All Nations Church says giving tithe and offering is a matter of the Heart.
Bishop Okello explains that any Christian giving that does not come from his or heart turns out to be a vanity.
Rev. Johnson Ogema the Team Leader of Victory outreach Ministries contends that Church is an independent institution that should run its own affairs without any outside influence from government.
Rev. Ogema believes that Church is the only Institution that sets standard for the good governance of a country that cannot again be led by another institution to do its work.
Lwanga shocked the nation on Sunday when fronted a controversial proposal that seeks to have the central government deduct 10% from people’s monthly salary and forward it to the church.
Speaking at Saint Mary’s Cathedral Rubaga during mass, the Catholic Archbishop said many Christians don’t tithe and this affects projects by the church.
“Whenever we ask for tithe, everyone gives only what they have at that time. But the Bible says a tenth of whatever you earn belongs to the church,” said Archbishop Lwanga.
“Give me your support as I front this proposal because it is good for us. Aren’t you tired of putting money in the baskets all the time?”
Archbishop Lwanga said he wanted Uganda to go the Germany route where Germans who are registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews have a church tax (Kirchensteuer) of 8-9 percent deducted from their annual income. The church tax is collected by the government and channeled to the respective faiths.
“I was told Germans make agreements with their government to deduct monthly tithe from their salaries and forward it to the church and this money they use to build and renovate their churches,” he added.
The Kirchensteuer system has been in place since the 19th Century and is rooted in pre-Christian Germanic custom.
Those who do not want to pay the tax can leave the church by making an official declaration stating they are leaving the faith and millions have left the Catholic Church because of it.
Once you leave, you are no longer eligible to receive sacrament, participate in confession, confirmation or take part in church activities in Germany.