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The interplay of Christianity, Ethnicity and Politics in Ankole, Uganda, 1953-1993

By Grace Patrick Karamura


Christianity was a powerful factor in the re-ordering of the ethno-political events in Ankole. Since its inception at the end of the 19th Century (1877 & 1879, Protestants\ud and Catholics respectively), the Churches, both Protestant and Catholic have played a leading role in the new chapter of Western civilisation. Since then, the churches have\ud been able to impact on people because of their pioneering advantage in social services like schools, hospitals and agriculture.\ud \ud Because of such advantage, by the mid 1950s, the churches were not only powerful forces in shaping the flow of events in their respective areas, but they were also entangled by various forces which have since been difficult to disentangle from. Ethnicity, religion and politics, forces that were not so pronounced before, became prominent after the introduction of Christianity and especially after the products of missionary schools graduated. Hence, since the 1950s, religious and ethnic polarisation have dictated the kind of politics in Ankole and Uganda generally with the disastrous consequences of religio-political divisionism.\ud \ud Underlying these forces is the ethnic factor which has hibernated between religion and politics. Thus, whereas it has been possible for the churches to grow in numbers in such a short time (within a century), the same growth factors have not been an advantage in dispelling ethnic and religious disparity. This is the main thesis of this\ud research, that ethnicity more than religion or politics has been the contending factor in Ankole politics.\ud \ud This thesis is not simply a chronological study of Christianity in Ankole but looks at other wider social issues like the Banyarwanda refugees, the Ankole monarchy\ud and Islam, and how these factors have impacted on the Ankole church

Publisher: School of Theology & Religious Studies (Leeds)
Year: 1998
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