The attitude of the Anglican church of Uganda to the new religious movements and in particular to the Bacwezi-Bashomi in South Western Uganda 1960-1995

Doctoral Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

The central theme of this doctoral thesis is the Attitude of the Anglican Church of Uganda to the New Religious Movements and in particular to the Bacwezi-Bashomi in south-western Uganda, 1960-1995. Since the 1960's Uganda has been witnessing a wave of new religious movements stressing healing and exorcism and to date are attracting a large following. Although the literature on these movements is still scanty with no attempt having been made in the area of academics, the researcher investigated this topic at some considerable length (assisted by six research assistants) using primary and secondary sources a task he has carried out with a sense of satisfaction. In the area of scholarship, he has published articles in Occasional Research Papers - Makerere University (Volume 14); African Journal of Theology (1991): 54-62; Asian Journal of Theology (1991): 136-148 and African Journal of Evangelical theology (1993): 18-40. Currently, he is a lecturer at Makerere University. This thesis is developed in six chapters with intent to establish whether the Bacwezi-Bashomi Movement is a challenge to Christianity or its followers are from the Roman Catholic Church or it is a pseudo-religious group or an independent church. It highlights that apart from the Balokole (born again Christians), abazukufu (the reawakened Christians), Pentecostal preachers and the charismatic renewal believers; many Christians who hardly take their faith and baptismal calling seriously claim that Christianity has failed to provide solutions to their chaotic existence, economic and socio-religious issues, hence the rush to these new religious movements and in particular to the Bacwezi-Bashomi. Defection is caused by the inability to grasp seriously the biblical teachings and the failure to get down-to-earth philosophical explanations. The study then discusses the historical growth of the Movement, highlights the attitudes of the mainline churches and concludes with recommendations and vision of the Anglican Church in Uganda. Now, the mainline churches are urged to foster the Christian faith that addresses the contemporary issues which engulf the indigenous people; to take the traditional healing and the indigenous medicine seriously; and to enhance a fruitful dialogue with the new religious movements, nominal Christians, abalokole and the followers of the Bacwezi-Bashomi Movement leading to mutual respect and understanding. Lastly, owing to the scarcity of in-depth academic studies, there is a need for serious research by church historians, sociologists, missiologists and pastors, hence the justification for this thesis.

Bibliography: pages 272-292.