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Can a Nation Repent?

–By Ben Gilmore

A homeschool mom, alumna of our 3-month online course, “Principles of American Government” (PAG), sent a report that the current President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, referred to as “M7”, has publically repented for himself and his nation.

African countries have had a steady stream of “Big Bad Dudes", M7 among them! Many will remember Idi Amin, from the 1970’s. Israel sent a team into Uganda in a daring hostage rescue. M7, his successor, has a controversial political history in Uganda.

M7 has stabilized the economy and done many good things. He holds an “unconstitutional” 3rd term among other politically questionable events.

Below is the report from “New Vision,” Uganda’s leading News Daily, Monday, November 26, 2012 —-

For the sins of Uganda, I repent — Museveni Publish Date: Oct 18, 2012

Christians dedicate Uganda to God during the National Jubilee prayers last week.

At the National Jubilee Prayers in Namboole, President Yoweri Museveni made history when he openly repented his sins and the sins of Uganda, a move that has excited many religious leaders. Moses Mulondo brings you the prayer verbatim

“Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us.

“I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness.

“We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation.

“We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal.

“Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict.

“These sins and many others have characterised our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love you, to fear you and to seek you. Take away from us all the above sins.

”We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity.

“We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation.

“We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfil what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own.

“I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever.

“I pray for all these in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Religious Leaders React

The Church of Uganda Archbishop elect, Stanley Ntagali said the prayer was a step in the right direction. That it was appropriate for the head of state to repent of his sins and the sins of Ugandans.

The leader of Pentecostal churches, Apostle Alex Mitala, said the prayer was the beginning of the healing of a nation. “All the nations we read about in the Bible were healed when their leaders repented and acknowledged God’s supremacy,” he said. Mitala urged Ugandans to turn away from their wicked ways.

Pastor Dr. Martin Kalibbala of New Testament Covenant Church warned that the fruits of repentance are what matter. “If you repent of stealing, God expects you to immediately stop stealing. If the President’s repentance is genuine, it will be measured on God’s yardstick of bearing the fruits of repentance,” he said.

Pastor Dr. Martin Ssempa of Makerere Community Church said it was a good thing for the President to repent on his behalf and on behalf of the nation. He commended those who encouraged and helped the President prepare the prayer, adding that God will answer it.

“We hope the President’s repentance will result into greater obedience to God by the executive, which he heads.

Ben Gilmore
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