President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda attended the festive laying of the foundation stone for the future Agia Sophia Cathedral in Kampala, near Lake Victoria, on Sunday, Orthochristian reports.
The cathedral, intended to be a replica of the famous Agia Sophia in Istanbul, will have a capacity of 2,500 and is projected to cost $4.5 million (17 billion Ugandan shillings).
Of this cost, the President has pledged $79,525 (300 million shillings), of which he has already paid $7,950 (30 million shillings), reports the Uganda Media Centre.
Museveni also made a further pledge of $21,200 (80 million shillings) for the Orthodox Church Development Commission and another $5,300 (20 million shillings) for priests—a total of $106,000 (400 million shillings) pledged altogether.
The President also took the opportunity to congratulate the representatives of the Orthodox Church in Uganda, led on the occasion by His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah (Lwanga), on the 100th anniversary of the Church’s presence in the nation. The laying of the cathedral’s foundation stone kicked off the 100th-anniversary festivities.
Today, I had the pleasure of joining Christians at Lubya Hill in Rubaga Division, Kampala to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Orthodox Christianity in Uganda. The celebration was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga. pic.twitter.com/hlruRT6SMv
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) May 5, 2019
There are 1.4 million Orthodox Christians in Uganda. The history of their presence in the nation can be read on the page of the Uganda Orthodox Church.
The head of state also said that he would mobilize resources to ensure that that construction of the cathedral is completed: “I will use diplomatic channels to mobilize resources for this Church from the brotherhoods of the same Church especially from Serbia, Russia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt.
As I did with the Muslim community, I was able to mobilize finance from the Arab countries that enabled the construction of the Islamic University in Uganda in Mbale and the King Fahd Plaza in Kampala City. Under a similar arrangement I will call upon them to help in building the projected Lubya Cathedral.”
Photo courtesy of Yoweri K Museveni