President Museveni has said government will consider a request by the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church to abolish Saturday examinations at all public education institutions.
The SDA are a conservative religious denomination in the country that observe Saturday as their Sabbath, a day of dedicated to only worshiping God and rest.
The president made the announcement on Twitter this morning after yesterday’s meeting with the SDA Church World Leader, Pastor Ted Wilson, and his wife Nancy, at State House, Entebbe.
The Wilsons are in the country on a four-day pastoral visit christened “Total Member Involvement” to continue entrench SDA beliefs in Uganda and the East African region.
They were accompanied to State House by Uganda SDA Union leader, Bishop Daniel Maate, and other leaders from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and South Sudan.
“I thank Pastor Wilson for visiting Uganda. I commend members of the SDA community in Uganda for their discipline. We shall consider the church’s request about our education institutions not conducting examinations on Saturday,” the President wrote, adding: “We shall also look at the interests of other Christian denominations that need to be freed from school examinations on Sundays and also for the Muslim community on Fridays.”
On several occasions, Students from SDA families have been forced to miss lectures, tests or examinations slated for Saturdays opting to go to church, instead!
After arriving in the country on Wednesday, Pr Wilson addressed the media at Peniel Beach Hotel in Entebbe where he urged religious and political leaders to co-exist and complement each other for social development.
He noted that it is only through this religious-political symbiosis that the region can realise peace, political stability and end poverty.
“There are a lot of inhumane killings around the world but what should be known is that every life counts, the world needs everlasting peace and this comes from God only, part of our mission is to make Uganda feel they are part of creating peace,” he said.
Pr Wilson also promised to ask President Museveni to abolish Saturday exams because they are unfair to Adventists.
“The problem of students doing exams on the Sabbath (Saturday) is critical in many countries and I will certainly bring this to the attention of government (President) to try to give the students much consideration as possible,” he said.
“Governments [should] allow freedoms and liberties of worship, by which we are happy that Uganda provides; when freedom of worships is implemented in a full way, a nation is blessed.”
According to Israel Kefeero, the general secretary of SDA in Uganda, there are about four million SDA Christians in Uganda, with about 3,600 registered churches. There are about 21 million Adventists across the world.