Why Freethought Kampala matters
I was very chuffed to see that Time did a story on Freethought Kampala. Uganda needs all the freethought it can get, so publicity is good.
A study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 97% of Ugandans are believers, and the fact that professions of atheism are invariably met with incredulity has prompted most of Uganda’s freethinkers to keep their skepticism in the closet.
But James Onen, a former Pentecostal Christian who once spoke in tongues, is not among them.
Onen, 35, had abandoned his once fervent Christian beliefs by the age of 20, after reading the Bible cover to cover and noting what he said were its logical inconsistencies. Hoping to promote reason and logic, the organization initially focused on the widespread belief — even among Uganda’s Christians — in witchcraft, but it has since taken aim at religion too. Pentecostal Christianity is a particular concern, Onen says, because it promotes the belief that “we are living in a time of spiritual warfare involving evil spirits,” which he says has reinforced the practice of witchcraft.