KAMPALA, JUNE 8, 2021 (CISA) – At the June 3 Uganda Martyrs’ Day celebrations, the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) has called on Ugandans to work towards peace and pray for an end of violence in the country.
“There is a lot of violence in the country including murder, land wrangles, corruption, and torture of people. We are calling upon all Christians, believers and people of goodwill to pray and work for peace in our country…. People are using machetes to kill, others using spears to spear other people, others using guns to kill people…,” the bishops said in a statement read at the end of the celebrations by Bishop Antony Zziwa, Chairman of UEC.
Bishop Serverus Jjumba of Catholic Diocese of Masaka, presiding over the Eucharistic celebrations animated by the Catholic Diocese of Masaka, urged the faithful to accept the unusually low key celebrations where only 200 participants were allowed at the Namugongo shrine as the will of God.
“This year, we assemble under exceptional circumstances. A slim number of the faithful are here physically. The multitudes are at home in virtual attendance. Not that they wished to stay away and watch television or listen to radios or indeed switch on social media platforms. No, it is because the Covid-19 pandemic has dictated and forced us into this terrible situation. We look like the dismembered body of Christ. We are scattered, but it would not be right to say we are in disarray,” said the Bishop.
“It is the same God calling us in these two years (of Covid-19) to move away from the ordinary merry-making, the pomp and ululations with which many of us celebrate June 3 – the day of commemorating the Uganda Martyrs,” he added.
The 2021 celebrations were held under the theme; “Do not lose Heart”.Covid-19 protocols were strictly observed and pilgrims were encouraged to follow the event virtually.
The Martyrs Day is marked as a public holiday in Uganda to remember a group of 22 Catholic and 23 Anglican converts to Christianity in the historical Kingdom of Buganda known as the Uganda Martyrs. Most of the converts were young men who abandoned traditional forms of worship.