RDC wants Radio Maria closed over inciting religious conflict

Nile Post News

Nile Post News

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Gulu Resident District Commissioner Captain Santos Okot Lapolo is seeking suspension of a broadcasting license of Radio Maria, a Catholic Radio Station in Gulu district.

He accuses the station of using Sunday masses to blackmail the government, campaign national development programs and attack other faith-based organizations.

Lapolo cites the broadcast of Sunday, February 11 in which Father Charles Onen, a priest at Holy Rosary Catholic Parish and director of Radio Maria falsely accused the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda, Johnson Gakumba of burning Catholic rosaries and several articles of worship during a crusade at Kaunda Ground in Gulu town.

During the sermon, Father Onen stated that Bishop Gakumba had connived with Born Again Christians to insult mother Mary and Crucifix of Jesus Christ. The priest also accused politicians of spying on the Catholic Church and the pastors of invading the privacy of people with fertility problems by anointing their private parts with oil.

“The preaching has revived the old conflicts between the churches and the followers, inciting the followers in a hate speech which was likely to cause violence…” he stated in a letter dated February 13 to the Minister of ICT, Information and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze.

In the letter, Lapolo petitioned the Minister to cause the license of the Radio to be revoked as their activities over the last six months are investigated.

The letter states that believers are living in fear due to the public criticism and attacks directed at government through the Radio Station. He says the decision to have the station switch off was reached by the district security committee in a meeting held early this week.

The sermon led to the suspension of the crusade which had been planned to last for a month. The organizers have also been placed under investigation.

 

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