Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo
Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo lies at Namugongo a name that derives from the word ‘’mugongo’’ which means back. And it was built between 1967 to 1975, accommodating around 1000 Catholics but before it was represented by 22 pillars who were Catholics and 23 protectants. Before, it was a place of execution for anyone who disobeyed the King’s law like the disloyal and the rebels.
At first it was a Shrine and later it was converted to Christianity by King’s servants known as the Bagalagala. This came as the result of the coming of the explorers to East Africa purposely to discover the Source of the Nile. Upon there coming, they came with Kabala Mutesa 1 and it was privileged time to work for kabaka. Before their coming, Sir Henry Morton Stanley had come as a Christianity to check on Doctor David Livingston who had a resident in East Africa for a long time. Time came, when the King had to write a letter in English to the Queen of England Victoria inviting the missionaries officially, since the king never knew how to write the later in English he was assisted by Bafutawa to whom was dictated in Luganda the local language as he interprets it in English, Bafutawa who was a trader together with Sir Henry Morton Stanley. They had to first read it out to the king before sealing it and after it had to be sent to the Queen in a year 1875. It was sent to Queen of England and published in the newspaper called the telegraph and in 1877 missionaries started arriving to Uganda with the Anglicans. Then after more two years the white father the catholic came, brother Harman and reverend Father Simon Rudely who was known as Mapera arrived in Entebbe in 1879.After Kabaka Mutesa 1’s death, his son took off.
The takeover of Kabaka Mwanga ordered the killing of these people namely Joseph Mukasa, Dionsyio Ssebuggwawo, Pontian Ngondwe, Kaloli Lwanga, Andrea Kagawa, Atanasio Bazzekuketta, Matia Mulumba and over 45 pillars who were killed, on this prime minister Mukasa also ordered the King to kill. But they were first arrested in Munyonyo before accusing them to death, because of disobeying the king on Sunday, rebel and disloyal to their law of hunting, they could no longer hunt with the king something that harassed the king. By the time he could go for hunting, they had gone for the prayers. On the killing of this pillars, the Arabs also influenced the king to kill, because the missionaries have stopped coming and fighting for slave trade converting Muslim to Islam. Unfortunately, Christians were accused to be killed for disobeying the King’s laws and more other accusations.
Conflicts that involved in between the religion and culture as follows;
Religion was saying it is God who has power over life and death yet culture said the king has power over life.
Religion says we should believe in God of heaven while the culture ‘’King’’ should say to worship the god of whites.
Religion was to say murder is crime while culture was to say the king must kill whoever disobeys him.
Religion says a man should marry only one woman in church while culture ‘’king’’ say a man must marry more than one women.
Uganda martyrs is national gathering ceremonies, located in Kira Municipality Wakiso District, estimating 12 kilometers north-east of Uganda’s Kampala capital. However, Uganda Martyrs happen on 3rd June 1886, when the 32 young men were accused by the King Mwanga 11of Buganda to be burnt to death at Namugongo for their refusal to renounce Christianity. They were two groups of Christian accusers Anglican and Catholic every 3rd of June thus becoming annual gathering of Christians across the world to congregate at Namugongo to commemorate the lives and religious beliefs of the Uganda Martyrs who died of their faith. Still on 3rd June, Crowds are seen at Namugongo estimating in hundreds of thousands annually.
The Namugongo Shrine were first recognized by Joshua Serufusa –Zake when he was the Sabaddu of Kira Sub-County. He later had to construct a structure at the Namugongo site, the shrine was built for prayers. His interest in Christianity was fulfilled by his father’s participation in the wars that had brought Christianity to Uganda.
Churches have been built in the areas where martyrs were killed and they are also privileged on churches murals and stain glasses. But the most famous shrine is Namugongo which is positioned where St. Charles Lwanga and his companions were burned. The Ugandans tradition beliefs of honoring their pre-Christian is heritage of spirituality as well as ancestry. However, the martyrs feast usually happens on every June 3rd where millions of people come to encounter in the annual feast and the day of the feast is known as a national holiday. We see many neighboring pilgrims coming from Kenya ,Rwanda ,Tanzania ,foreigners and others all over Uganda to take part in the ‘’National Holiday’’ the Ugandan Martyr’s Feast Day at Namugongo while others follow the celebration on National Television ,it’s annual gathering in the country.