Pilgrimage Uganda Matrys’ Shrine Namugongo

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namugongo shrine uganda-gorilla-chimpazee-safari-jehovahtours-co-ug-uganda-safaris-source-of-river-nile-bwindi-gorilla-trekking_tracking_murchision_falls_kidepo_national_park_golf_tours_cultural_tours_tree_climbing_lions_rwenzori_mountain__queen_elizabeth_birding_voluteering_programs_herb_medicineNamugongo Martyrs shrine, located about fourteen kilometres from Kampala is well known worldwide for the famous Martyrs day celebrations that are held annually. This church lies 3.2km further, east from the Catholics Basilica. The church is affiliated with the Church of Uganda. Strategically located in the heart of Africa, Namugongo has the capacity of surpassing the tourist numbers than the sites in South America and the Far East. About half a million to three million pilgrims and that only focused on the more famous Catholic Shrine. Leaders of the two faiths can work together to harness religious tourism off season pilgrimages. Jehovah Tours and Travel has a Uganda Pilgrimage Safaris package that will give you an insight on the early spread of Christianity in Uganda.

After breakfast at your hotel, a Jehovah Tours and Travel agent will pick you up and take you to Namugongo martyr’s shrine.

Your Uganda Martyrs Experience has just started. You will be given a tour of the place, one for the Protestants & the other for the Catholics. Each Protestants and Catholics maintain their churches there and a service may be conducted while there and you may attend so as to get a true feeling of Christian worshiping Uganda. After the church service, you will get a full tour of the Martyrs shrine and get the historical background of place in the lives of Christians in Uganda and the world at large. You will then be driven back to your hotel. This Uganda safari tour will give you a time to remember.

Background of the Tour

 In Uganda, 3rd June of every year is always memorable in the hearts of many people as Christians from all works of the world join together to commemorate the martyrs’ day. This is celebrated in remembrance of 25 young men both Anglican and Catholic who were killed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga for rejecting to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ or Christianity. The execution took place at Namugongo on 3rd June 1886 .The Kabaka (king) thought the Whites were poisoning his subjects with Christianity to cause rebellion against him. As a result he killed most of his savants at Namugongo.

It was hardly a year after Mwanga’s assumption of the throne that he ordered the execution of Yusufu (Joseph) Rugarama, Makko (Mark) Kakumba, and Nuwa (Noah) Serwanga the first three Christian martyrs, who were killed at Busega Natete on January 31, 1885. In October of 1885 the Anglican Bishop James Hannington recently dispatched to head the Eastern Equatorial Africa, headquartered in Buganda, and was murdered in Busoga on his way to Buganda on the orders of Mwanga.

Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, a senior advisor to the king and a Catholic convert was murdered on Mwanga’s orders because he had condemned Mwanga for ordering Hannington’s death without giving him (Hannington) a chance to defend himself. As was customary, Mwanga did not like anyone questioning his actions. Between December of 1885 and May of 1886 many more converts were murdered because they refused to denounce their faiths.  The execution of twenty six Christians at Namugongo on June 3, 1886; was the climax of the campaign against the converts.

uganda-best-23-martyrs-burned namugongo shrine uganda-gorilla-chimpazee-safari-jehovahtours-co-ug-uganda-safaris-source-of-river-nile-bwindi-gorilla-trekking_tracking_murchision_falls_kidepo_national_park_golf_tours_cultural_tours_tree_climbing_lions_rwenzori_mountain__queen_elizabeth_birding_voluteering_programs_herb_medicineBecause of their courage, the souls of these martyrs were rewarded. The 22 Catholic martyrs were indeed canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 18, 1964; during the Vatican II conference. The other 2 martyrs were speared to death in Paimol, Gulu in the North of Uganda in October 1918. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II on 20th October 2002.Thus these martyrs were now recognised by the universal church as being worthy of being honoured as Saints. This was a first for modern Africa and a source of pride throughout the continent.

There was great persecution of Christians in this country between 1885-1889 and by the end of it, over 45 Christians had been killed and these executions were carried out in different places with Namugongo being an execution site for criminals belonging to the royal family and people of high status. The last execution to be carried out at Namugongo was that which took place on 3rd June 1886

After 125 years the Martyrdom is still fresh in people’s minds. The growing numbers of the annual June 3 pilgrims to Namugongo is one Christian activity that makes even the biggest non-believer to smile. Pilgrims walk from all corners of the country to this place and some pilgrims come from Kenya, Tanzania among other countries.

 Take time and visit the Uganda Martyrs shrine during your Uganda safari and witness the influence of the church on the lives of the Ugandan people and the people in diaspora. This is a unifying time annually where people from different backgrounds but all believing in the same cause come together and re-ignite their Christian faith.

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