How Religions Became a Safe Place For Manipulation and Sexual Harassment

Harmful realities at the core of religious practices

James Ssekamatte
6 min readMay 16, 2022


A Pentecostal Church in Uganda. Image Source: Solid Rock

The opening story of this week was one that my dad just told me about a church that he says just opened up in Kampala, Uganda.

My dad doesn’t go to church much (maybe once a year) but keeps up with the church stuff because he believes that politicians use these churches to further their agendas and he is big on politics.

But this story he heard in one of his updates about politics and churches bothered him so much because of the practice that this particular church is doing which is … bathing women!!

When he told me this at first, I thought that he was talking about the baptism practice that many of these types of churches follow where they will do a full-body emersion the way Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

This was different. Very different.

He told me that these women were not being baptized. They were being bathed. I can imagine soap, sponge, and everything. Bathed by their male pastor.

He said that the women are required to strip down to their bras and knickers after which, they step into a huge bathtub, and then the pastor proceeds to bathe them.

It gets even more ridiculous.

After being bathed, the pastor asks the women to step out of the bathtub and then go dry themselves up with the towels nearby after which they have to remove the wet underwear.

Guess what they wear afterward…

Well, when they are done, there are (what I assume are men) people who hand them clean and dry knickers and bras that they are to replace with the wet ones they wore during the bathing session.

Did I say that this all takes place in front of a huge congregation?

Don’t even ask me what the pastor does with those women’s wet wear. I had heard enough.

It is impossible to quantify how many codes of even the most basic aspects of human decency this practice violates.

What bothered my dad is how stupid people can be. Both the ones doing it and those that consent to be bathed.



James Ssekamatte

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