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PICTORIAL: Uganda Martyrs’ Day 2022

Bishops headed by Arch Paul Ssemogerere (left) arrive for mass at Namugongo to mark Uganda Martyr’s day celebrated worldwide on June 3. ALL PHOTOS TWITTER – CATHOLICS ONLINE, PARLIAMENT MEDIA AND GUGUDDETVUGANDA

Prime Minister delivers President’s speech

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Pictorial of the Uganda Martyrs’ Day held today at Namugongo at the Catholic and Protestant shrines, with thousands of guests including Prime Minister of Uganda Robinah Nabbanja, Vice President Jessica Alupo, Speaker and Deputy Anita Among and Thomas Tayebwa, King of Toro Oyo Nyimba  Iguru Rukidi IV

Bishops arrive for mass.

Prime Minister delivers President’s speech.

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja today banned the fanfare and noise pollution at Uganda Martyrs’ shrines in Namugongo for hours, during prayer time. Nabbanja, who represented the President as chief guest at the Catholic shrines noted that as she was arriving at the venue, she was disturbed by the madness and noise pollution that was going on yet the Mass was soon starting.

Evoking her powers as Prime Minister, Nabbanja ordered all places generating noise closed immediately to allow prayers at the two sites to go on uninterrupted. On her orders, security ordered all the people who were playing all kinds of music on the side-lines of the main event to switch their equipment.

Before delivering the president’s speech, Nabbanja assured the clergy and congregants that from this year forward, such fanfares will not be allowed when pilgrims are praying.

Overtime, the Uganda martyrs fete, which is a religious event, has the attracted attention of various business operators, who target a multitude of pilgrims that flock to the shrines. For almost the entire week, parallel secular events take place where people go to dine, wine, and party all day and night.

Over the years, the church has severally appealed to the government to prevent such people from showing up at Namugongo noting that they divert the minds of pilgrims and interrupt their prayers. At the catholic shrine, for instance, pilgrims pray for almost every other hour but they are at times interrupted by the noise from the fanfare outside the shrines.

In his speech read by Nabbanja, President, Yoweri Museveni noted that the martyrs show the resistance potential of Ugandans, as the new young converts resisted the ignorance and corruption of Kabaka Mwanga.

He noted that from their resistance, thousands were enlightened and defeated the violence of traditional leaders against the human race. Nevertheless, Museveni noted it is a betrayal of the martyrs to get actors promoting all forms of sectarianism as this doesn’t rhyme with the principle of religion.

Museveni noted that for years the religion has ended up promoting sectarian ideologies manifesting in social contrasts and political grouping, which sow civil wars and mistrust among the new believers. He hastened to add that it’s good to note that different religions have now come together under the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda-IRCU to address common challenges.

To him, religions should desist from promoting sectarian tendencies as they are unchristian and unIslamic which had turned the faith for, which the martyrs died into hypocrisy. President Museveni adds that as the faithful fight against sectarianism, they should also focus on projects that will draw them out of poverty.

At the end of the Mass, the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among gave out USD 1000 (approximately 3.5 million Shillings) to the youngest and oldest pilgrims at the shrines. This year’s martyr’s day celebration comes after a two-year lull due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown and restrictions.

Fort Portal Diocese, which last animated the martyr’s day celebration 25 years ago led today’s event, under the theme, “Baptized and sent to witness Christ with love and hope”. Uganda’s Martyrs’ day holiday commemorates the late 19th-century martyrdom of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic men who were put to death on the orders of then-King of Buganda Mwanga II for having converted to Christianity.

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