GULU – Residents of Acut Omer village in Gulu district have raided a Church they accuse of “cult practices and preaching a false gospel about heaven.”
The Church allegedly practices a mixture of Acholi traditional religion, Christianity and Islam.
URN local media outlet has reported that New Jerusalem Tabernacle Church was raided by an angry mob on led by the area LC I chairperson, Geoffrey Oringa.
The group burnt the crucifix, Shea butter gourds, stones, water and money that had been assembled in the church compound.
The mob accused the church leaders of involving themselves in cult practices, which include a sprinkling of water and smearing Shea butter on worshipers allegedly to protect them from bad omen among others.
Mr. Oringa who spoke to URN said the practices remind him of the late Alice Lakwena, an Acholi priestess and spirit-medium who, as the head of the Holy Spirit Movement, led a millennial rebellion against the Ugandan government forces of President Yoweri Museveni from August 1986 until November 1987.
New Jerusalem Tabernacle Church belongs to Severino Lukoya Kiberu, the father to Alice Lakwena.
The ministry is spread all over northern Uganda, according to sources.
Richard Watmon, the Pukony sub-county LC III told journalists that the raid followed a resolution by the sub-county security committee held in April this year where it was resolved to block the operations of the church.
Lukoya, on the other hand, told URN the church is registered with the government as a legal entity and that he was “chosen by God” in the eighties to spread his word.
He told the media outlet that he had a vision while in prison, to save the world by preaching the gospel of the new heaven.
In 2016, Lukoya accused the police of interfering with his spiritual work across the northern region. Mr. Jimmy Patrick Okema, the then Aswa region police spokesperson, denied the claims.
“I got a certificate to practice as a religious leader but I am always harassed by police and yet God has blessed me with healing powers,” Mr. Lukoya said then.
Reports claim that his ministry practices a mixture of Acholi traditional religion, Christianity and Islam.