Breaking

African Priests Moved by Story of Uganda Martyrs

Bishop Willem Christians, from Keetmanshoop Diocese in Namibia, said their visit to the place at a time when they are discussing the future of the Church in Africa reminded them to keep their faith amid the challenges of the time. Bishop Willem noted that Namugongo is bacon of faith across Africa.
29 Jul 2019 16:13
Africa prelate inside the charpel which was build in the place where the Uganda Martyrs were burried

Audio 2

The story of the Uganda martyrs has been told and retold in Uganda and to the entire world. It is a tale that draws a mixture of inspiration, emotions, joy and distress, recollecting the determination by the African converts who shed blood for their newfound religion, even in the face of death. 

It is in this spirit that Catholic prelates from the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar high-end meeting also paid homage to the Uganda Martyrs with a visit to both the Catholic and Anglican Shrines.  The prelates have just concluded a week-long meeting in Uganda.

As some were filled with happiness, others found themselves in sorrow with some breaking in tears upon listening to the story of about 45 young Christian converts who dared the king, for religion at its infancy, 133 years ago.  

Bishop Thomas Osman from Eretria is one of those that could hardly hold their tears back at the sight of the sculptures that depict the ugly scenes of how the converts met death by incineration.  He told URN after the visit that the story is so moving and touching. 

Bishop Willem Christians, from Keetmanshoop Diocese in Namibia, said their visit to the place at a time when they are discussing the future of the Church in Africa reminded them to keep their faith amid the challenges of the time. Bishop Willem noted that Namugongo is bacon of faith across Africa. 

//Cue in; “very moving…  

Cue out…martyrs of Uganda.”//     

Bishop Patrick Chisanga, from Mansa Diocese in Zambia wondered how the Young converts got the courage to defend a new religion. Chisanga says the story of the Uganda Martyrs reminds the Church that amid encounters, the faith can be propagated to have modern-day witnesses to Christ.  

//Cue in; “it is a very…  

Cue out…by their faith.”// 

Tanzania Episcopal Conference Vice President Bishop Flavian Kassala, says the story of the martyrs drives their hearts to think of the modern-day persecution and mistreatment in the form of tribalism, violence, and war. 

The Uganda martyrs were killed on orders of Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda kingdom between 1885 and 1887. Mwanga was furious because the converts, who were his subjects, disobeyed him and ignored traditional beliefs in preference of Christianity.   

Their popularity has since attracted three Popes to Uganda including Pope Francis, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.