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Ugandan Anglican Martyrs Commemorated by Primate

Ugandan Anglican Martyrs Commemorated by Primate

By Godfrey Olukya
VOL African Correspondent
May 6, 2020

Every year, for the past 30 years thousands of Anglicans from across the world have converged at Namugongo shrine in Uganda to commemorate the killing of 23 martyrs. The shrine is located where the Anglican young men were killed.

The 23 were killed in 1887 by a traditional king called Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda kingdom located in central Uganda. He accused them of being more loyal to their recently introduced Anglican Church than to him.

Every late May, Anglicans from within Uganda and neighboring countries like South Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been walking on foot to Namugongo as a symbol of solidarity with the martyrs.

This time, the thousands of believers were not able to be there due to the COVID19 pandemic. A total of 60 people including priests, politicians and prominent Anglicans were invited for the ceremony that took place at Namugongo.

This year's theme at the ceremony was, ''Unity amidst trials and persecution.''

The celebrations were presided over by the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu.

In his sermon, Archbishop Kazimba said that COVID-19 has taught the Anglican Church in Uganda about the need for media evangelism.

"We have come to realize that owning a TV station is not a luxury but a necessity. Covid-19 has taught us about the need for media evangelism. We should make sure that we establish a TV station,'' he said.

He said the Anglican martyrs stood firm while being persecuted and that is the reason why God also stood with them.

"God stood with them during persecution because they stood firm therefore, we are also able to stand firm. They teach us how to stay determined on issues concerning our religion," he said.

He said that although the martyrs died, they still live. "Where God is, He can turn your miles of suffering into smiles. When the martyrs were dying, they never knew they would turn into very important people."

He said that COVID-19 has made masks win the war against lip stick. "Lipstick has been defeated by masks," he said.

The Anglican Primate asked the government to open up the Churches which it closed during the COVID-19 lockdown. "Since markets are operating under some restrictions, we can also do the same in our churches. We are even better organized than the market people,'' he said.


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