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BREAKING: Born Again Church Leader Reacts to Noise Debate

The leader of the Born-again Christian community in Uganda, Pastor Joseph Serwadda, has spoken out in response to President Yoweri Museveni’s worries about noise in the country, emphasizing that loudspeakers are an integral part of their religious practices.

According to Pastor Serwadda, loudspeakers have become a tradition within the Born-again faith, and he believes that the government should acknowledge and accommodate this practice, just as it does with other religions and businesses that use loudspeakers regularly.

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

The discussion about noise pollution resurfaced after a letter written by President Museveni two years ago addressed the issue of loud night prayers. In the letter, Museveni posed five questions to Pastor David Kiganda, focusing on the disturbance caused by loud noise at night and questioning the necessity of loudspeakers for worship.

Responding to these questions, Pastor Serwadda raised concerns about the selective focus on Born-again churches, pointing out that other groups, such as Muslims during the Adhan (call to prayer), also use loudspeakers without similar scrutiny.

“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?” Pastor Serwadda questioned.

He further highlighted that various other entities, including nightclubs and bars, contribute to noise levels in communities.

As a potential solution to the noise issue, Pastor Serwadda proposed a collaborative approach between churches and their surrounding communities. He suggested mutual agreements on scheduling loudspeaker usage, possibly limiting it to specific hours or occasions, to address concerns while respecting religious practices.

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