Are Pastors Robbing Their Followers?

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SOW! Sow! This has become the new gospel in Uganda’s mushrooming born-again churches. It is simple. If you want a job, you sow. If you want a successful marriage, you sow. If you want to become rich, you sow.

All social problems can be solved through sowing, is the message pastors are drumming into their congregations.

Piously, hundreds of Christians are responding to the call — by offering money and properties to get God’s blessing for ending their problems. But are they reaping? Or are pastors just taking advantage of people’s desperation to enrich themselves?

In the second part of a three-part series, an undercover Sunday Vision investigator recorded pastors in Kampala urging the members of their church to sow.

“God’s blessings to you are determined by what you sow. Once, I was praying for people during a service. A woman came to sow sh500. When I asked her what she wanted, she said she wanted God to give her a house,” one pastor told the attentive congregation. “I asked her what kind of house she expected for sh500. She said she wanted a three-bedroomed family house in a nice location. I laughed. I asked her if she really expected God to build her such a house with the sh500 she had brought.

She said it was all she had.”

The pastor, who claimed he had been cured of AIDS, told the crowd that in return for the sh500, God built the woman a house in a swamp infested with mosquitoes. The story prompted more than half of the congregation to pledge between sh50,000 and sh100,000.

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