Imagine an American president doing this at our nation’s 250th anniversary celebration of its independence from Great Britain.
Uganda’s longtime president, Yoweri Museveni, a Christian, made history when, at his nation’s 50th anniversary celebration of its independence from Great Britain, he publicly offered a prayer of national repentance and confession, asking God’s forgiveness for his sins and the sins of his people.
Read this prayer all the way through in its entirety, word for word.
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.
This is incredible. Here we have an elected politician–actually, Mr. Museveni is a statesman–who is not only a Christian, but a Christian who is applying his faith and the principles of the Bible to the civil government of his country!
Museveni is no new-comer to Ugandan politics. He has been involved in its brief but tumultuous history as an independent republic since 1970 when he joined the fledgling intelligence service shortly before Idi Amin seized power in a military coup in 1971.
He was born and raised and educated in Uganda, became a Marxist-leftist radical while in college (surprise!), converted to Christianity later on, and has been the country’s president since 1986.
While he has been commended and lauded by leaders around the world for a number of reforms that he has implemented during his tenure, he has also had no shortage of enemies internationally since he and his nation began moving to the right, politically, especially during the last several years.
Now, he is making a clean, public break with the past and setting Uganda on a course that we haven’t seen an elected government official set his country on since, well, since I don’t know when.
And he didn’t just make a break. He made a covenant. With God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He means business, this Museveni!
Even the Wikipedia article characterizes his term of office as one of “political and economic regeneration”.
He is clearly in rebuilding mode (which usually follows a collapse or disintegration), and this rebuilding is looking more and more biblical and Christian-influenced all the time.
Of course, we would also use that other “r” word to describe what is going on in Uganda.
But that might offend some of our Christian non-Reconstructionist brothers and sisters!
For further reading, click here.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before Facebook inexplicably erased the share count on Dec. 5, 2012, this article had been shared 79 times! I don’t know what happened, but I want to thank all of you who thought what was written here was worth sharing–PR.
Dec. 7, 2012: Looks like they reset the share counter to zero, but at least it’s working again!–PR