The Anglican Church of Uganda is grappling with an acute financial crisis, despite an appeal by President Yoweri Museveni to the Churches to become self-reliant and stop "begging" abroad.
A spokesperson for the Church said employees at the Church's headquarters, in Kampala, including Archbishop Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, had not received their salaries for the months of October and November 1995. They were not expecting any pay before Christmas.
"The various Church dioceses in the country have not been remitting their quotas for the past several months to the headquarters," the spokesperson said. "And our financial resources have been running out."
An official with the accounts department of the Church of Uganda told ENI that the dioceses were expected to remit their quotas at the beginning of January, after getting an expected bumper "harvest" from collections during the Christmas festival. Christians who do not normally attend Sunday services turn up in large numbers for services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and usually contribute generously to the collections.
The financial squeeze comes at a time when many young, educated, middle class Christians are abandoning historic Churches to join charismatic Pentecostal Churches which are mushrooming in the urban as well as rural areas. The departure of many young and educated Christians is said by some religious leaders to be a reason for the shortfall in Church collections.
Others have pointed to the increase in rural poverty, which they link to the structural adjustment measures of the World Bank.
The house of bishops of the Church of Uganda, faced with the financial squeeze, is reported to be carrying out a process of restructuring, under which some Church departments would be merged and others abolished.