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Encyclopedia > Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God was a breakaway sect from the Roman Catholic Church founded by Credonia Mwerinde and Joseph Kibweteere in Uganda. It formed in the late 1980s after Mwerinde, a former prostitute, and Kibweteere, a politician, claimed that they had visions of the Virgin Mary. The five primary leaders were Joseph Kibweteere, Joseph Kasapurari, John Kamagara, Dominic Kataribabo, and Credonia Mwerinde. In early 2000, followers of the sect perished in a devastating fire, and a series of poisonings and killings, that were either a cult suicide, or an orchestrated mass murder by sect leaders after their predictions of the apocalypse failed to pass.[1] In their coverage of that event, BBC News and the New York Times referred to the Movement as a doomsday cult.[2][3] This article is about religious groups. ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... Joseph Kibweteere was the leader of a suicidal cult that splintered from the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda. ... Apparition of The Virgin to St Bernard by Filippino Lippi (1486) Oil on panel, 210 x 195 cm Church of Badia, Florence A Marian apparition is an event in which the Virgin Mary is supposed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more persons, typically Catholics, in various settings. ... The term Virgin Mary has several different meanings: Mary, the mother of Jesus, the historical and multi-denominational concept of Mary Blessed Virgin Mary, the Roman Catholic theological and doctrinal concept of Mary Marian apparitions shrines to the Virgin Mary Virgin Mary in Islam, the Islamic theological and doctrinal concept... Cult suicide is that phenomenon by which some cults, have led to their membership committing suicide. ... Mass murder (massacre) is the act of murdering a large number of people, typically at the same time, or over a relatively short period of time. ... BBC News is the department within the BBC responsible for the corporations news-gathering and production of news programmes on BBC television, radio and online. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The term destructive cult (sometimes called doomsday cult) is sometimes used to refer to that small number of religious groups that have intentionally killed people, either the group members themselves or others outside of the group. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original meaning. ...

Contents

Beliefs

The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God's stated goals were to obey the Ten Commandments and preach the word of Jesus Christ. They taught that to avoid damnation in the end of the world, one had to strictly follow the commandments. The emphasis on the commandments was so strong that the group discouraged talking, for fear of breaking the commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Some would not talk and only communicated in sign language. Fasts were conducted regularly, and only one meal was eaten on Fridays and Mondays. Sex was forbidden, as was soap.[4] This article is about a list of ten religious commandments. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Two sign language Intepreters working as a team for a school. ... Fasting is the act of willingly abstaining from all food and in some cases drink, for a period of time. ...


The group had a strong emphasis on the apocalypse, highlighted by their booklet A Timely Message from Heaven: The End of the Present Time. New members were required to study it and be trained in it, reading it as many as six times. They also taught that Virgin Mary had a special role in the apocalypse, and communicated with their leadership. They held themselves akin to Noah's Ark, the Movement was a ship of righteousness in a sea of depravity.[2] Group leaders declared that the apocalypse would occur in the 2000. The term Virgin Mary has several different meanings: Mary, the mother of Jesus, the historical and multi-denominational concept of Mary Blessed Virgin Mary, the Roman Catholic theological and doctrinal concept of Mary Marian apparitions shrines to the Virgin Mary Virgin Mary in Islam, the Islamic theological and doctrinal concept... A painting by the American Edward Hicks (1780–1849), showing the animals boarding Noahs Ark two by two. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ...


The Movement developed a hierarchy of visionaries, topped by Mwerinde. Behind them were former priests who served as theologists and explained their messages. Although the group had split from the Catholic Church, had Catholic icons placed prominently and defrocked priests and nuns in its leadership., ties to the Church were only tenuous.[2] Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ...


Background

The recent past of Uganda has been marked with political and social turmoil. The terror of Idi Amin, the AIDS pandemic, and the Ugandan Civil War wrecked havoc across the country. People became pessimistic and fatalistic, and the established Roman Catholic Church was backsliding, enveloped in scandals and the faithful were becoming dissatisfied. In this void, many post-Catholic groups formed in the late eighties as a confused and traumatized populace turned to charismatic self-declared messiahs who renounced the authority of the government and the Church.[5] An example of this phenomenon was the Christian resistance group, the Holy Spirit Movement, which fought against the government of Yoweri Museveni.[2] A former member of the sect, Paul Ikazire, would later say "We joined the movement as a protest against the Catholic Church. We had good intentions. The church was backsliding, the priests were covered in scandals and the AIDS scourge was taking its toll on the faithful. The world seemed poised to end."[4] Idi Amin Dada (mid-1920s[1]–16 August 2003) was an army officer and president of Uganda. ... For other uses, see AIDS (disambiguation). ... This article is about large epidemics. ... Combatants Uganda National Liberation Front (The national army of Uganda) National Resistance Army (guerilla rebels) Commanders Milton Obote General Oyite-Ojok Brigadier Opon Acak Brigadier Olara-Okello Yoweri Museveni Salim Saleh Steven Kashaka Joram Mugume Pecos Kuteesa Fred Rwigema The Ugandan Bush War (often referred to as the war in... Catholic Church redirects here. ... Jesus is considered by historians such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader; The sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic authority as resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained... In Judaism, the Messiah (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian ; Aramaic: , ; Arabic: , ; the Anointed One) at first meant any person who was anointed with oil on rising to a certain position among the ancient Israelites, at first that of High priest, later that of King and also that of a prophet. ... The Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) was the Ugandan rebel group led by Alice Auma, a spirit-medium under the direction of the spirit Lakwena. ... Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (born c. ...


History

Founding

In 1984, future group leader Joseph Kibweteere claimed he had a vision of the Virgin Mary. In the same year Credonia Mwerinde, a former prostitute, and a member of a Virgin Cult, also had a similar vision in a cavern near Kibweteere's house in Rwashamaire.[6] In 1989 the two met and formed the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, with the mission to spread the Virgin's message about the apocalypse. The group grew rapidly and also attracted several defrocked Catholic priests and nuns who worked as theologians, rationalizing messages from the leadership. Two of the arrivals were the excommunicated priests Paul Ikazire and Dominic Kataribabo.[4] Joseph Kibweteere was the leader of a suicidal cult that splintered from the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda. ... Priesthood in the Catholic Church is the second of the three orders of ordained ministry, Bishop, Priest and Deacon. ... For other uses, see Nun (disambiguation). ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... Excommunication is religious censure which is used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. ...


Middle years

The sect grew in importance with the arrival of Dominic Kataribabo, a respected and popular priest with a PhD from the United States. In order to obtain more funds for the increasing number of disciples, Kibweteere sold his three other properties, car and milling machines.[6] By the late 1990s, the church had grown into a thriving community, set in pineapple and banana plantations. Members lived communally on land bought by pooling the profits from their property - which they sold when they joined the cult. Mwerinde claimed to receive messages from the Virgin Mary through a hidden telephone system that communicated through everyday objects.[6] In western Uganda they built houses for recruitment, indoctrination and worship, and a primary school. The year 2000 was settled on as the final, compelling date for the sect's predictions of the apocalypse.


However this time was not uneventful, in 1992 the group was ordered out of Rwashamaire by village elders, and moved to Kanungu District, where Mwerinde's father offered an extensive property for their use.[6] In 1994, Ikazire left the sect, taking with him approximately seventy members.[4] By 1997, according to a filing with the government, the Movement's membership was listed at nearly 5,000 people. In 1998, the Ugandan press reported it had been closed for its insanitary conditions, using child labour, and possibly kidnapping children, but the Movement was allowed to reopen by the government.[7] Kanungu is a district in western Uganda. ...


As the new millennium approached preparations for the end mounted. In 1999, the state owned New Vision newspaper ran an interview with a teenage member. He said, "The world ends next year. There is no time to waste. Some of our leaders talk directly to god. Any minute from now, when the end comes, every believer who will be at an as yet undisclosed spot will be saved."[7] New Vision is one of two main national newspapers in Uganda. ...


Apocalypse

With the new year looming, activity by Movement members became frenzied, their leaders urged them to confess their sins in preparation. Clothes and cattle were sold cheaply, past members were re-recruited for the end, and all work in the fields ceased. January 1, 2000 passed without the advent of the apocalypse, and the Movement began to implode. Questions were asked of Mwerinde and Kibweteere, and payments to the Church decreased dramatically. Ugandan police believe that some members, who were required to sell their possessions and turn over the money to the Movement, rebelled and demanded the return of their money.[4] It is believed that events that followed were orchestrated by sect leaders in response to the crisis in the ranks.[8] is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ...


Another date was immediately predicted, March 17 was the new end of the world, a doomsday that would come "with ceremony, and finality" according to the New York Times. The Movement held a huge party at Kanungu, and reportedly roasted three bulls and drank 70 crates of soft drinks.[4] Another party was planned for the eighteenth, which officials believe sect leaders had planned to mislead authorities as to their plans.[9] Several days before Movement leader Dominic Kataribabo was seen buying 50 liters of sulfuric acid, which may have fueled the fire. On the seventeenth, group members arrived at their church in Kanangu to pray and sing, shortly after the building was gutted in an intense fire that killed all 530 in attendance, including dozens of children. The windows and doors of the building had been boarded up.[1] The five principal cult leaders, Joseph Kibweteere, Joseph Kasapurari, John Kamagara, Dominic Kataribabo, and Credonia Mwerinde, were assumed to have died in the fire.[3] Their fiery demise finally alerted the rest of Uganda to what had been occurring in the Movement. is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... R-phrases S-phrases , , , Flash point Non-flammable Related Compounds Related strong acids Selenic acid Hydrochloric acid Nitric acid Related compounds Hydrogen sulfide Sulfurous acid Peroxymonosulfuric acid Sulfur trioxide Oleum Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ...


Earlier killings

In a chilling discovery hundreds of bodies were found at Movement sites across southern Uganda. [8] 6 bodies were discovered sealed in the latrine of the Kanungu compound, as well as 153 bodies at a compound in Buhunage, 155 bodies at Dominic Kataribabo's estate at Rugazi, where they had been poisoned and stabbed, and another 81 bodies at lay leader Joseph Nymurinda's farm.[9] Forensics investigations indicated that they had been killed weeks before the church inferno, and had undoubtedly been murdered.


Aftermath

Medical examiners determined that the majority of sect members who died other than in the fire had been poisoned. Early reports had suggested that they had been strangled based on the presence of twisted banana fibers around their necks. After searching all sites, the police concluded that earlier estimates of nearly a thousand dead had been exaggerated, and that the final death toll had settled at 778.[3]


After interviews and an investigation were conducted, the police ruled out a cult suicide, and instead consider it to be a mass murder conducted by Movement leadership. They determined that the failure of the doomsday prophecy lead to a revolt in the ranks of the sect, and the leaders set a new date with a plan to eliminate their followers.[1] The discovery of bodies at other sites[8], the fact the church had been boarded up [1], the presence of incendiaries, and the possible disappearance of sect leaders all point to this theory. Cult suicide is that phenomenon by which some cults, have led to their membership committing suicide. ... Mass murder (massacre) is the act of murdering a large number of people, typically at the same time, or over a relatively short period of time. ...


Uganda's President, Yoweri Museveni, has called the event a "mass murder by these priests for monetary gain." The vice president Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe said, "These were callously, well-orchestrated mass murders perpetrated by a network of diabolic, malevolent criminals masquerading as religious people."[1] Although it is assumed that the five leaders died in the fire, police believe that Joseph Kibweteere and Credonia Mwerinde may still be alive, and have issued an international warrant for their arrest.[3] Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (born c. ...


References

  1. ^ a b c d e Uganda Survivor Tells of Questions When World Didn't End Ian Fisher New York Times April 3, 2000
  2. ^ a b c d Quiet cult's doomsday deaths BBC News March 29, 2000
  3. ^ a b c d Cult in Uganda Poisoned Many, Police Say New York Times July 28, 2000
  4. ^ a b c d e f Uganda Cult's Mystique Finally Turned Deadly Ian Fisher New York Times April 2, 2000
  5. ^ Cults: Why East Africa? BBC News March 20, 2000
  6. ^ a b c d The preacher and the prostitute BBC News March 29, 2000
  7. ^ a b A party, prayers, then mass suicide Anna Borzello The Guardian March 20, 2000
  8. ^ a b c Evidence Indicates Uganda Cult Held an Eerie Prelude to Fire Henri E. Cauvin New York Times March 26, 2000
  9. ^ a b Mass graves found in sect house Anna Borzello The Guardian March 25, 2000

External links

ABC News Special Report ident, circa 2006 ABC News is a division of American television and radio network ABC, owned by The Walt Disney Company. ... is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
kanunugu (2914 words)
In 1990, Kibwetere officially launched the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God.
They emphasised the restoration of the Ten Commandments as God's guidelines to humanity and urged members to confess their sins in preparation for the end of the world on December 31, 1999.
From the report, the Movement for the Restoration of Ten Commandments had all the characteristics of a cult.
Cult suicide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1790 words)
Groups which have done this include, Heaven's Gate, Order of the Solar Temple, People's Temple (Jonestown), and the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God.
On March 17, 2000, between 780 and 1000 members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in a probable mass suicide in Uganda.
However the Beliefs of the Children of God emphasizes an imminent Second Coming and some deem this a negative sign with regards to suicidal behavior.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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