Between May 25 and June 3,1886, at least 32 Christians were martyred by King Mwanga of Buganda. Many of these Martyrs were young men who refused to participate in Mwanga’s perverted indulgences and were burned to death on a great pyre at Namugongo. Out of this persecution there arose a strong indigenous church in Uganda. We remember the Martyrs of Uganda today.
Moving forward to 1977 we find a new Dictator in charge in Uganda, Idi Amin. President Amin’s reign of terror was challenged by the Anglican Church in Uganda. The Archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum, on numerous occasions called upon the government to stop ignoring human rights. On the 16 February 1977, the Archbishop was taken by security forces to an office building over-looking his Cathedral. There he was tortured and shot to death by Idi Amin. The world-wide condemnation of this act led to the downfall of the Amin regime. This year, 2020, 76 pilgrims walked a 510 km route commemorating the final days of the Martyr, Janani Luwum. The Government of the Republic of Uganda has declared February 16 an annual national holiday in remembrance of his prophetic call to human rights and social justice. We remember Archbishop Janani Luwum today, a Christian Martyr of Uganda.
Bible Reading: Matthew 24: 9-14