In this edition of “Weekly Saints”, I’m sharing the story of how 45 Christians were martyred in Uganda between 1885 and 1887.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, beginning in 1879, Catholic missions were established in Uganda (then known as Buganda) and thrived until 1884 when Mwanga came to the throne.
Threatened by the growing number of Christians, Mwanga ordered the killings of 45 Christians within a two year period.
The first Christians to be killed by Mwanga was Bishop James Hannington and his colleagues on October 29, 1885.
After Joseph Mukasa, a member of the royal household and a Catholic, criticized Mwanga’s actions, Mwanga had Mukasa beheaded on November 15.
Pictured above are 20 of the martyrs who were burned at the stake at Mwanga’s order, with the exception of Mbaga Tuzinde who was bludgeoned to death by his own father, on June 3, 1886.
Mwanga continued his persecution, destroying Protestant and Roman Catholic missionaries alike. Subsequent victims included Matthias Mulumba, assistant judge to a provincial chief, Andrew Kaggwa, chief of Kigowa; and Noe Mawaggali, a Roman Catholic leader. The page Jean Marie Muzeyi was beheaded on January 27, 1887″ –Encyclopedia Britannica
Christians are still persecuted in Uganda.
The main group responsible for attacks on Christians in Uganda is the Islamist Allied Democratic Forces-National Association for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF), who recruit children to do their bidding, destroy churches, and kill, maim, torture, and rape.
Morning Star News reports that two weeks ago on January 15, a pastor and 8 other Christians have gone missing after they were attacked during a Sunday prayer meeting.
During that meeting, a militant group broke into the church, locked 80 Christians in, beat the parishioners, and raped 15 of the Christian women. After, they dragged the pastor and the other 8 away on allegations of proselytizing to Muslims.
Father, let us never forget the names and faces of those 45 Ugandan Christians who stood firm in their new-found faith in Jesus so that they know that they did not die in vain. We thank you for their example of what it means to be strong in their faith of you.
We ask for the safe return of the Ugandan pastor and his 8 parishioners. Until you see fit, may they be a witness for you to their persecutors.
For way too long, our brothers and sisters in Uganda have been persecuted, and we ask that you please step in and stop their suffering, if it is your will. Help them to remain strong in their convictions and faith, and let them know that there are other Christians who are praying for them. They are not alone.
In Jesus’ name we pray,