The Function of KRCC


  • Kitara Religious and Cultural Center
  • House of Prayer for all Nations

Location of Kitara

Kitara area lies across the Equator right in the heart of East Africa, geographically known as Western Uganda. The history of Kitara dates as far back as 1889 when Uganda was still a British protectorate and part of this region was nicknamed ‘the Switzerland of Africa’ because of the hilly nature and its unique vegetation and weather.

Kitara lies entirely between the two arms of the Great Rift Valley in East Africa. To the far west it borders Zaire (former Belgian Congo). This border concedes with the western Rift Valley occupied from north to south by Lakes Albert, Edward, George and Kivu. On this border with Zaire exist also, the Rwenzori mountain ranges, the highest point of which (Mt Margarita) is 5,119 meters high. Further south west between Lake Edward and lake Kivu ,there is the volcanic Muhabura range protruding from the rift Valley between 3,500 meters and 4,000 meters high.

On the other side Kitara borders Tanzania (former German East Africa). Boundary adjustments in 1910 between the British, the Belgians and the Germans fixed the southern limit of Uganda by including in Uganda, Kigezi which was formerly part of Belgian Congo and Bufumbira, formerly part of Germany East Africa. Kigezi was formerly part of Rwanda which together with Burundi and Tanganyika, formed German East Africa.

Generally, Kitara is a land of plateaus though in some areas there are hills which are 200 to 500 meters high. In most places, the hills are heavily eroded. In the extreme west, the ancient tabular areas still remain.

The Equator crosses Kitara region and the climate is equatorial but moderated by the altitude. In the region two dry seasons occur in the year. The highest temperatures occur on the Lake Albert flats while the lowest temperatures occur on the glaciated zone of Mt Rwenzori and the Kigezi area.

In the higher regions, the vegetation groups itself in levels such that the thick vegetation forest with under growth of liana appears at the bottom on the lower slopes.  Mountain forest extends to about 3,200 meters and above this; there are bamboo groves and air pine prairie.

Background to Kitara Religious and Cultural Center

With introduction of Christianity in Africa, there appeared a common perception in missionary circles that Africa had no prior religion, that there was no knowledge of God in Africa and hence, Africa was a ‘dark’ continent. This view and the actions flowing from it were regarded by Africans as using ‘the gospel to declare the superiority of Western value systems and using this claim to justify European conquest and exploitation of Africa. Missionaries were not only perceived as turning Africans away from their culture, but were also understood to be undermining African culture by being arrogant, in the sense that they compared African culture to their so-called superior culture. Consequently, missionaries were regarded as part, or agents, of the colonizing of Africa.

The indigenous religious and Cultural personalities made a counter-movement which was all about the resistance against domination; Western Christianity failed to meet the African aspirations. It created a serious vacuum in the lives of Africans. Western Christianity had taken from Africans a religion which was functional and useful in their lives.

This perspective saw Christianity and culture as two opposing forces of influence. The church stood on one side of the line, and culture on the other. The defenders of the Western Christianity up to today know that there is a great battle being waged (Ephesians 6), a battle that plays out both invisibly in the heavenly realm, and visibly in the cultural realm.”

This mindset tends toward legalism and tries to restrict Christians’ interactions with society and culture. Here is recognition that the Christian life involves war against culture, and wrongly tries to wage that war by escaping from the social world. In face of Christianity, people who believe in and exalt their cultures are regarded as sinners.

This mindset still falls short of understanding of the African life; it’s too easy to see ourselves fighting against people instead of sin. African social and cultural contexts are largely taken to be of unbelievers.

At KitaraCultural and Religious Center we believe that Cultural shifts that happen independently of the church aren’t always bad, God has enabled all people, Christian or not, to make good and valuable contributions in the cultural realm. We believe that the Christians resisting these cultural shifts are in the wrong. Not all culture isn’t always right, and the church can’t mirror every move culture makes. We also believe that without God, culture raises up idols in his place celebrities, politicians, sex, wealth and power.

The questions we are trying to answer here include; can the church embrace culture without also embracing its idols? Can one belong to the African culture and still practice Christian religion?

Christians who believe that it is possible view their cultural context in very high esteem perhaps disagreeing with aspects of it here and there, but for the most part finding it to be an ally rather than a threat to Christianity. Generally, this view sees advances in culture as positive changes the church should embrace.

We rightly recognize that God ordered the world in such a way that humans would make culture, and we rightly recognize that culture exhibits real aspects of truth, goodness, and beauty.

When Christians adopt a ‘Christianity of culture’ mindset, they affirm Christianity’s ability to be a prophetic voice and usually end up putting a mark on doctrines and moral beliefs that run in line with the cultural consensus.

Christianity in and for culture: It’s no secret that at Kitara Cultural and Religious Center we believe that the best way to view the relationship between church and culture is ‘‘Christianity in and for Culture. We believe this is the better mindset, the one that views human beings as representatives of Christ who live their lives in the midst of and for the good of their cultural context, and whose cultural lives are characterized by obedience and witness. We believe that as Christians, we are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), we represent another world, while we live in the midst of this one. 

We believe that God created a structure that allows culture to exist, shift, and progress. As humans, we formulate and shape that culture within God’s structure. We recognize that every cultural context is structurally good, but sometimes directionally corrupt. For this reason, we must live firmly in the midst of our cultural contexts (structurally), all the way while seeking to steer our cultural realities toward Christ rather than toward idols (directionally).

As ambassadors of Christ, we are fully immersed in the culture, but everything about us points back to the one we serve. This doesn’t mean we agree with everything culture does, but we learn to understand it and speak its language, identify its true desires, all with the intention of showing how Christ is the only one who can correctly fulfill those well-meaning cultural and social desires.

We believe that every aspect of human life and culture is ripe for Christian witness. Every dimension of culture, whether it is art, science, or politics, is an arena in which we can speak about Christ with our lips and reflect him with our lives. We thank God for the existence of culture and recognize whatever is good in it, while at the same time seeking to redirect whatever is not good toward Christ and the well being of people.

Kitara Cultural and Religious Center is inspired by the key roles culture and religion play in the well being of people and the role it plays in the development of nations all together. “Culture and religion are strong pillars in people’s lives. Culture and religion influence our values, hopes and world view.”

We envision a vibrant religious and culture sector that is spiritual, professional, creative and viable and contributes to the spiritual, social and economic development of the people in Kitara region. We are therefore dedicated to contribute toward making Kitara region a significant hub for religious and cultural development in Uganda and led by our values of stewardship, respect, shared leadership, transparency, accountability, learning, and collaboration.

We believe that the house of God (Church) wasn’t meant to be denominational in nature, and hence, here at Kitara Cultural religious Centre we receive all people irrespective of religious affiliations. Galatians 3:28: ‘‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus’’. We also say there is neither Catholic nor Anglican, neither Pentecostal nor Seventh Day, neither Orthodox nor Lutheran for you are all one in Christ Jesus. In John 17:11: ‘‘I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you Father. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one’’. African spirituality simply acknowledges that beliefs and practices touch on and inform every facet of human life, and therefore African religion cannot be separated from the everyday or mundane.

For starters, the word “religion” is problematic for many Africans, because it suggests that religion is separate from the other aspects of one’s culture, society, or environment. But for many Africans, religion can never be separated from all these. It is a way of life, and it can never be separated from the public sphere. Religion informs everything in traditional African society, including political art, marriage, health, diet, dress, economics, and death.

Our cultural heritage has a clear significance in terms of cultural identity, and the religious heritage in its various manifestations.

At Kitara Cultural and Religious Centre there are both religious and cultural aspects of life which are carried out interchangeably. At this place there are qualified leaders of both cultural and religious affairs such as prophets, prayer warriors and counselors, generally referred to as ‘‘Abahereza’’. Other people who come there for spiritual service are referred to as the believers ‘‘Abatabaazi’’.  Here bellow is a surgery of what takes place at Kitara Cultural and Religious Center.

1. House of Prayer (Hekaru): This is the house of prayer for all nations (all people) irrespective of individual faiths and denominations. Here, we are non-denominational; we do not teach any denominational doctrines. Our temple is a place of worship, prayer, biblical and cultural religious teaching. The temple activities are led by the prophets (Nabbi, abarangi and prayer warriors)

2. Devotion and Deliverance House (Eitambiro): Individually, people make reflection of their lives, confess to God, give offertory (ebitambo) and pray for healing. There is high reflection on God’s commandments and one makes fresh commitments for their lives. There are no instructions or orders.

3. Consultation and Counseling House (Nyaruju): In the consultation and Counseling house, individuals meet with the prophet and talk about their life experiences, challenges, sickness and hardships there are facing. The prophets use their God given wisdom and revelations to help the visitors to deal with or solve their challenges. The prophet is able to find out any conflicts one has with the ancestral spiritual ream, correct the misfortunes and foretell your future. It is true African astrology.  The prophet uses the bible and other traditional tools to provide a varied counseling and guidance.

4. Ancestral Spiritual Center (Ebigabiro): People enter into this place in line of their clans. Inside here there spiritual items such as trees and stones that relate to fortunes. Individuals who enter here speak to their ancestral spirits for a cast of fortunes and suppression of misfortunes. The place is under care of an accredited and licensed diviner. Inside here there are no instructions to follow, you pray to God the creator through your ancestral angels and the heavens angels as messengers between you and your God. You confess your faults/repent, seek for harmony with your ancestors and pray to God for your needs.

5. Kitara Traditional Health Care Center: Here there is a collection of traditional and herbal medicine. Accredited and licensed medicine men and women including diviners guide and provide services at this point. People consult on different illnesses and the medicine men and women are able to prescribe and administer the relevant treatment.

6. Kitara traditional Sauna (Embiranyungu): Sauna is a historical traditional medicine. Boiling medicinal herbs are known for treatment of a variety of illnesses ranging from common allergy to cardiovascular illnesses. Accompanied with medicinal herbal steam, the combination provides relief to the people who visit there. A cultural perspective story of sauna is told here.

7. Medicinal Plant garden: A variety of selected medicinal herbs, trees and grass are planted widely in the garden and in the compound. People come here to learn about these trees medicinal properties, and they are the mostly used herbal products at the health care center.

8. Kitara Craft Center: Here there is a great deal of craft making such as household utensils, wood curving, dressings, pottery, black smiths, backcloth, and a variety of musical instruments. Different craft makers are there to tell their story.

9. Kitara traditional food centre: There is serving and exhibition of various traditional foods such as obutuzi, omukaro, millet, firinda, honey, tea plants, ghee, and a variety of traditional drinks such as Bushera, milk, tonto, omuramba among others. A story of how each foods and drinks served in traditional Africa society is told.

10. Kitara Library and bookshop: Both ancient and current books by Kitara writers are exhibited and sold here. Most of the books are documentation of cultural and religious history. More information is given in audio and video forms. Here is also a cultural and religious story teller.

11. Kitara Cultural and Gospel entertainment: Various cultural troupes will always be present at the center to entertain and tell the Kitara story in form of music. A mix of cultural and religious/gospel entertainments make life better.

12. Kitara Cultural and Religious Tours: Various cultural and religious sites in the entire Kitara have been documented. The tour guides are able to plan sarticifying tour movements across the region.

13. Kitara tribe and clan associations: Different tribes of Kitara and those from outside Kitara, and various clans will form themselves into associations and clubs and will be coordinated here. These will be led by tribal and clan heads. These can engage in different developments such as savings and other activities.

14. Camp fire (Ekyooto): Kitara region has different cultures than the rest of the regions of Africa.  In the rest of Africa we read information, we read stories, books. In Uganda there are books, there is written information but there is something else in Kitara. We sit under the ancient tree and around the ancient fire place, we sit under the moon light as the story-teller uses words to weave a tapestry in one’s mind with his or her words, we have art and cultural dance and music.  We take bible studies, we sing praises, we say our prayers and we provoke our ancestral spirits around the camp fire. Children love to hear the adults speak and sing, saying idioms, ebyevugo, they relate to them, relate to the characters in their tales, and love the gentle rhythm of the songs and the words that allow children to see the possibilities in life.