Famous Ugandan pastor summoned to court for burning Bibles

A famous city pastor in Uganda who sparked anger among Christians for burning a pile of Bibles in April has now been summoned to court to explain the reason behind his controversial action.

(REUTERS / Andres Martinez)Nene Charles reads a bible in Creole at a refugee camp for Haitians returning from the Dominican Republic on the outskirts of Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti, September 6, 2015.

Wameli Anthony Yeboah, the lawyer representing complainants Aloysius Kiiza Matovu and Semugooma Francisco, said authorities served the summons for House of Prayer Ministries International pastor Aloysius Bugingo on July 4. The pastor is set to appear before the Nabweru Magistrates' Court at a yet unconfirmed date, All Africa detailed.

On Easter Sunday this year, Pastor Bugingo collected King James Version and Good News version Bibles from his 6,000 church members. He allegedly told the congregation that there were some verses that were deleted from the KJV and the New Testament.

Pastor Bugingo then delved into the verses about fasting and Lent in the Bible and said the words "Holy Spirit" were replaced with "Holy Ghost." He also said these changes were the work of "devil worshippers" and shocked the public by setting the Bibles on fire.

"It is criminal for him to burn Bibles because it goes against the constitution which guarantees freedom of worship and he is abusing the objects of worship which include Bibles, Qurans, rosaries and any other items people may choose to use during worship," said Yeboah.

In addition, the lawyer said they are seeking a restraining order against Pastor Bugingo because they learned from a reliable source that the minister is still burning Bibles every day. Matovu, who used to be Bugingo's close friend, said they were not out for a witch-hunt but just want to ensure that the future generations will know the sanctity of the Bible.

In April, Orthodox Jewish rabbi and U.K. politician Shneur Odze drew ire when he burned a Bible and posted photos of it on social media. He said he burned it after he found it in his synagogue during Passover, purporting to be a Jewish Bible, the Daily Mail reported.

Odze believes the Christian Bible was placed inside the synagogue by someone from a proselytizing religious group. He has since taken down the controversial photos and apologized for his actions.