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‘What about Muslims, night clubs?’ - Serwadda responds to Museveni on church noise

The leadership of the Born-again faith in Uganda has responded to President Yoweri Museveni’s concerns about noise pollution, stressing that “loudspeakers are part of our tradition.

Pastor Joseph Serwadda

Pastor Joseph Serwadda, the head of the Born-again faith in Uganda said this Easter Sunday morning that the government must accept to accommodate this reality as it has done with other religions and businesses that use loudspeakers on a daily basis.

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Loudspeakers have become our tradition as the Born-again faith and it can no longer change,” said Pastor Serwadda.

What we are saying is that this government needs to accept that Balokole and their loudspeakers can only be tolerated to a given extent because that is our tradition.”

A letter written by President Yoweri Museveni two years ago, addressing the issue of loud night prayers recently resurfaced in the media, sparking a heated debate.

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In the letter addressed to Pastor David Kiganda, Museveni invited the Born-again church to answer 5 key questions about noise pollution:

  1. Does loud noise at night disturb people who are sleeping or does it not?
  2. If it does, is it Godly to insist on it?
  3. If the trans-night worship is for you as a team to praise God, why do you have to use loudspeakers and disturb people who need quiet, especially at night?
  4. Does God need a megaphone to hear your Praise or Prayer?
  5. If, then, your aim is to publicize your faith, why do you not wait for the time when people have rested and are awake?

Pastor Serwadda however, wondered why these questions have not been put to other groups that use loudspeakers such as Muslims during Adhan.

The president asking if God will not hear us if we don't use loudspeakers, but we also ask…when the Muslims put out megaphones every day, don't the people they are calling to prayer ever learn the prayer hours?” he asked

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Back in the day, other religions even used drums and bells to announce prayer time. In our communities, we also have nightclubs and bars which are equally loud.”

As a solution, pastor Serwadda suggested “a mutual agreement” between churches and the communities where they are located.

“For instance, if you are in the midst of a community, you can ask the residents to have a night prayer once a month, where you use loudspeakers,” he said.

We can also agree on which hours of the night the loudspeakers can go off. That is the only way to fix this.”

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