An investigation into the reasons why the youth are joining the new religious movements in Holy Rosary Catholic Parish - Gulu Archdiocese.
The rise of New Religious Movements (NRMs) in Uganda and Gulu Archdiocese in particular, is a complex phenomenon that involves many facets of African cultural and religious practices. The reasons why they are so successful are not obvious. The teachings they propound are not only obscured and confusing, but also challenging. Their practices differ and diverge from the practices of the main line Christian’s Churches, namely; Catholic and Protestant. Their ways of life as well tend to go far away from the normal way of life other Christians and non Christians are used to. Since they are nontraditional and marginal, they appear to be threatening forces that go beyond comprehension and control. Because they are seen as a dangerous incursion into a well established tradition, the question of interpreting and responding to their challenges become of no consequence. What to be done is a practical solution needed soon to prevent them from the supposed bad effects they are having on the youth. In this piece of work the researcher takes a stand assuming that examining the new religions from different academic perspectives is a necessary step for understanding their presence in our age and for drafting an effective response to their influences. This study can be done from various angles or disciplines to avoid the danger of being parochial, myopic or even one sided and biased. It would be a mistake to think that this study will offer a readymade, once and for all solutions to New Religious Movements in Gulu Archdiocese. We shall discover that this study will reveal to us a variety of reconcilable opinions among those who have been studying the religious movements. It will show us that the quest for a single and unequivocal answer is unrealistic. I hope in this course to expose the readers to a diversity of viewpoints and perspectives on New Religious Movements and to encourage them to have a broader reading and come out with a more balanced reflection about religious movements in our times. By considering the New Religious Movements from various perspectives, the possibility increases not only of understanding them, but also of creating an approach to respond to them and come to terms with their presence in our midst. It is important for us to assess the impacts of the New Religious Movements on our traditional Churches. At the same time we should be opened to learn it at all, from these religious movements and what we should avoid. My interview and research revealed that many Catholics and Protestants especially the youths are joining the New Religious Movements or frequenting the events sponsored by these movements. The question here is why is it so? The researcher established that; they are attracted to these movements because they seem to offer satisfaction of certain immediate goals in an uncertain socio-economic situation that is next to secularism. Some Catholics with fundamentalist tendencies (Charismatic, Marians, Visionaries, etc) are apt to join these religious movements or frequent going there. Women and youth who are the most frustrated section of the populations are the most prone to these religious sects. Youth are affected by modern songs, as opposed to traditional Catholic singing. The use of English in their worship is appealing to the young ones. For instance these religious movements have more commonness with pop-stars and pop music festivals.