GANDA: Martyred Archbishop Remembered

By Godfrey Olukya
VOL African Correspondent
February 16, 2021

Anglican communities in Uganda and Ugandans at large, are today commemorating Archbishop Janani Luwum who was killed by dictator Idi Amin Dada.

At the time he was killed in 1977, the Most Rev. Janani Luwum was the sitting Archbishop of the Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire. He was martyred in Kampala by president Idi Amin’s regime on February 16, 1977.

The ceremony has been held at state house in Entebbe and the chief guest has been the host president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. It was attended by, among others, the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda Stephen Kaziimba, over 10 bishops, the prime minister and other dignitaries.

In his sermon, Archbishop Kaziimba praised the late Archbishop for being a true Christian. He said that Luwum could not simply keep quiet as Idi Amin killed innocent people. When he told him that what he was doing was wrong, he ended up being murdered.

Kaziimba said Archbishop Luwum had love for people, peace and justice. For him life was not cheap. He was a good shepherd who could not abandon his sheep.”

He urged Christians to emulate Archbishop Luwum by leading life in which they loved their neighbors and avoided killing other people.

In his speech, Uganda’s president Yoweri Musevei said that when Luwum was the Archbishop, life in Uganda was terrible. He said Luwum could not entertain nonsense, he took the line of martyrdom.

Museveni wondered why some leaders kill innocent people. He said such leaders are not confident and lack leadership skills. “Those who kill are cowards.” Museveni said.

Luwum was recognized as a 20th century Anglican Christian martyr for the entire Anglican communion. He was the first sitting archbishop in the Anglican communion martyred in office in 400 years, that is, since the 16th century when Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, and in the 17th Century when William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, were martyred in office.

A few years ago, this day was made a public holiday. So today, in all parts of the country Anglican churches held prayers in commemoration of Archbishop Luwum.

Read Virtueonine report here