The following story offers a glimpse of hope in the midst of the brutal civil war going on in northern Uganda on the border of Sudan . It is tragic that those who claim to fight for God are terrorizing the very ones they claim to want to protect. It is the churches in northern Uganda who are helping the process of forgiveness in this conflict that are truly following Christ.
The Sun – While the world’s wealthiest nations ponder debt forgiveness to rescue the most troubled countries in Africa, here in this small town in Northern Uganda , a very different kind of forgiveness is a lot closer to the human experience. The Acholi tribe that dominates this area calls it a cleansing ceremony. In the last few years, the candidates for “cleansing” have been both the victims and unwilling enactors of some of the most heinous brutality imaginable They were all abducted at a young age by a rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army. The younger, the better for Joseph Kony, the messianic cultist who has led the LRA in 19 years of civil war in Northern Uganda , asserting that he wants the country to be ruled by the Ten Commandments. To shape these children into obedient soldiers, Kony uses a combination of early indoctrination and fear. Many escapees have told similar stories of being ordered to beat someone to death within a week of their abduction, to instill fear in them and others. They tell of frequent beatings they were subjected to and assaults and killings they were forced to participate in. They also describe deprivation and forced raids on farming communities to get food and new recruits In addition to beating to death helpless people who fell into the hands of the LRA, the youths were taught to fight with automatic weapons against the Ugandan army here and against anti-government insurgents in neighboring Sudan . The Islamic fundamentalist government of Sudan equipped the LRA to fight its insurgents Now they want forgiveness. And, difficult as it may seem, they are receiving it in rituals that are as ancient as the Acholi tribe itself, with the help of Christian churches whose missionaries have been working in the area for centuries [Go To Full Story]