Religion and the search for peace and reconciliation in Buganda
Katungulu, Haruna Jemba A.
MetadataShow full item record
The research addresses the reality of conflict in Buganda between Buganda Christians and Muslims on the one hand, and between the believers in these religions and those who still subscribe to the Buganda traditional religion. The research highlights the extent to which this conflict is governed by theological principles or is based on other considerations. The research examines the teachings of the different religions on the subject of peace and reconciliation, with a view to establishing the role they can play in the search for peace. It argues that whereas peace was initially broken in their name, the traditional religion of the Baganda, Islam and Christianity have a major contribution to make to the process of peace building and reconciliation. The focus of the study is on Buganda. This is for purposes of manageability; otherwise, the research concerns are relevant to other parts of Uganda. The gist of argument of the work is that various attempts have been made to use political and secular approaches to achieve peace and reconciliation, but complete peace has continued to elude the country to date. It is time to change approach and give religion a chance, since the majority of Ugandans subscribe to one religion or another. The study highlights the rich cultural heritage in the Baganda, as well as the diverse religious traditions that they later received from Islam and Christianity, in order to show how they can be valuable foundations for peace and reconciliation, since teachings of peace are central to their theology. The study used qualitative methods. It reviewed secondary records and collected primary data from respondents using interview guides, questionnaires and focus group discussions. After reviewing the scriptural sources and extensively engaging the stakeholders and opinion leaders in the various religious groups, the research concludes that the teachings of the various religions promote peace, and the leaders are desirous to live in a peaceful atmosphere. However, there are major challenges such as the feeling by some groups that they have been marginalized. The research recommends that inter-religious dialogue should be promoted as a way of creating understanding between the different religious traditions. Secondly, the causes of conflict, such as old grievances, such as marginalisation, discrimination, biases, domination and the like should be addressed. The research recommends that all attempts should be made to identify and reverse inherited negative attitudes against one another, avoid misinterpretation of the teachings of various religions and shun misinformation through clarifying the teachings of the different religions and accepting the areas of difference. Above all the spirit of forgiveness should be promoted through peace education programmes, which among others should include root causes of conflict like religious extremism, biases, the desire to dominate or despise others and the like.