ARUA CITY: The Anglican Bishop of Madi and West Nile diocese Rt Rev. Charles Collins Andaku has called on Ugandans to stop gender based Violence (GBV), defilement of young girls and the rampant drug abuse in society.

Bishop Andaku also warned the Christian folk to be vigilant during the Easter holidays so as to guard against the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

The prelate was giving his Easter message at his offices in Emmanuel cathedral Mvara on Thursday. The Bishop said some of the traditional customs like washing of feet and ‘the way of the cross’ that drew mammoth crowds and necessitated contact have been scrapped as preventive measures against COVID-19.

“I want to caution Ugandans particularly people of the West Nile region as we celebrate this Easter, God has given us the opportunity this year but COVID is still around and real, take care and follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) because we still need you”, He said.

“Be security conscious and stay home and stay alert, have zero tolerance for sin, avoid getting drunk but be filled with love Joy and the Holy Spirit and stop gender based violence, please spare young girls from being defiled and getting pregnant” The prelate cautioned before wishing everyone a joyful celebration.

He urged Christians to base their celebrations on the resurrection hope that symbolises the newness that comes from Christ’s victory over sin. He also urged Christians to observe every Sunday as Holy and use it to worship God and rest but not only Easter Sunday as many people do.

The Bishop said once a Christian has been empowered through the power in Jesus, he can easily have control over lust for flesh, power over drugs and alcohol, financial bondage, gossip and even magic because all power is given unto Him.

The archbishop of the church of Uganda, Dr Stephen Samuel Kazimba, the head of the Anglican Church in Uganda has also strongly spoken about defilement urging the perpetrators to confess their sin and allow God’s forgiveness to go deep into their families.

Dr Kazimba in his Easter message urged the government to allow the children to go to Church with the rest of their family members.

“I encourage the government to lift the restrictions on children coming to Church. Just as Children are returning to school, the church is ready to receive the children for just one hour per week in an organized way that upholds the SOPs”. The archbishop said in a message circulated to all dioceses.

He urged families to daily worship God in their homes even if they attend Church regularly saying family worship is essential in sustaining faith and raising children with knowledge and love for God.

The Easter day, a key observance in the Christian religions is the day Jesus is believed to have risen from the dead after his crucifixion on the cross, a day popularly termed as the good Friday.