By Gabriel Buule
Finally, he has proposed! She has said yes! Your parents, friends and relatives are in agreement. Your mind is bursting with ideas on what she will look like on the day, what vows he will say and the honeymoon destination. The date has been set. Now you need to find a church that will make you man and wife. That is where the tug of war usually starts. Shall you wed in the church the two of you have dreamed of being married in? Or will you have to toe the line and marry in the church your parents insist on? Very importantly, is the church you finally agree to wed in, allowed by law to marry you two?
Many couples have discovered to their dismay that the beautiful church they got married in and which holds beautiful memories is not legally registered to wed couples. And therefore in the eyes of the law, their marriage is illegal. In order to avoid this scenario, you need to check and ensure that the church you have chosen is among those allowed to carry out weddings.
Uganda Registration Bureau (URSB) has released new data indicating that 2,662 churches in Uganda are legally allowed to preside over marriage ceremonies.
According to URSB these churches have fulfilled the mandatory minimum requirements of filing a formal application to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MOIJA), through the Registrar General and part of the pre-requisites the applicant (place of public worship) is mandated to do.
It is therefore important for couples to find out whether the church they have picked falls among these 2,662. For a marriage to be legal in Uganda it must be presided over by a licensed place of worship or by a magistrate. Article 18 of the Constitution mandates URSB to register and administer all laws relating to marriage in Uganda.
The churches on the list are from various denominations that include several sects of the Catholic Church, the Anglican, Pentecostal and Adventists among others.
Prominent on the new list are traditional churches that include Rubaga Cathedral and Cathedral Church of St. Paul Namirembe for the Anglicans among others. Popular Pentecostal churches include Rubaga Miracle Center Cathedral, Victory Christian Church in Ndeeba, and Watoto North and Central.
Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) insists that for any place of worship to be licensed to celebrate marriages, it must obtain a license under the marriage act. So before you decide on the church to wed at, ensure it is among those licensed to do so from this list.