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Two Arrested as Church Feud Deepens in Kumi

“We have had a disturbance by conflicting Christians of CoU and the Reformed Anglican in many churches including Akisim- Kabwele CoU where the Reformed Anglican converts are chasing away the Christians of the Church of Uganda”, Oscar Gregg Ageca, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman said in a text to our reporter.
Team of Lay Readers at Rev. Okunya's Consecration in June.
Two Christians from Jerusalem Church in Kanyum Sub County accused of assaulting a cleric from the Kumi Anglican Diocese are in police custody. 

The suspects are Samuel Opit and James Igune, both members of the Jerusalem Reformed Anglican Church, formerly under the Church of Uganda in Kumi Diocese. The duo is accused of assaulting Rev. Stephen Okurut, the treasure of Kumi diocese.

Trouble for the duo started when the lay reader of Jerusalem Chruch, James Emorut invited Rev. Okurut for baptism in their Church on Sunday.  It is alleged that when Rev. Okurut arrived for the service, Christians and the parents of the infants sought to know the church he pays allegiance to before baptizing their children.

A source in Jerusalem told URN on condition of anonymity so as to speak freely on the matter that the question angered the priest, leading to a vulgar exchange with the Christians.

“The reverend had not even noticed that the church writings reading Jerusalem CoU had been replaced with the Reformed Anglican Church of Jerusalem. He literally started abusing Christians, prompting one of the Christians to call the Police from Atutur”, the source started.

According to the source when officers from Atutur arrived, they harmonized the situation and asked all parties to settle and commence the church service. But as Christians settled, they overheard Rev. Okurut on the phone calling for help from Kumi Central Police Station.

“The reverend was overheard reporting to the Police that he had been attacked by the Christians. After the call, we saw a Police patrol car with several armed officers on it. On arrival, the reverend pointed at the two suspects, accusing them of assault”, the source added. 

This angered other Christians to the extent of pouring sanctified water for baptism at the altar. The baptism service ended prematurely as the reverend had to seek protection from the Police that picked up the two suspects.

The suspects have since remained in the Police cells. According to the Police, the Jerusalem incident is just an iceberg of several cases reported within the districts of Kumi, Ngora, and Bukedea, which constitute Kumi Diocese.

“We have had a disturbance by conflicting Christians of CoU and the Reformed Anglican in many churches including Akisim- Kabwele CoU where the Reformed Anglican converts are chasing away the Christians of the Church of Uganda”, Oscar Gregg Ageca, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman said in a text to our reporter.

He said that at Jerusalem Church, the Christians said that Rev. Okurut didn’t seek permission from the Reformed Anglican Church to conduct a service on Sunday. He added that the matter requires the two parties to harmonize their operations.

There has been a struggle over the ownership of church premises in the diocese since Rev. Charles Okunya Oode, a former priest under the Kumi Anglican diocese converted to the new church. Jonathan Maraka, the spokesperson of Kumi diocese didn’t answer or return our calls to his known phone number.