The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stephen Kaziimba has asked Christians to respect the Covid-19 guidelines as they celebrate the Martyrs day.
Kaziimba on Tuesday addressed journalists at his residence in Namirembe ahead of the commemoration of Uganda Martyrs Day on Thursday 3rd June.
In previous years, millions of people from within and outside Uganda thronged both the Anglican and Catholic Shrines to commemorate the martyrs, a brave group of young men who died while defending their faith.
At the Catholic Shrine, Christians start accessing the centre on May 25, when a Novena which is often prayed nine days earlier in preparation for a feast or a specific intention is recited. The earlier arrivals of both national and international faithful’s has also previously been observed at the Anglican Shrine.
However for the second time, the event will be celebrated virtually with a limited number of guests as the country maintains restrictions on public gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Kaziimba, this year’s Martyrs day celebration at the Anglican Shrine will be held from 9 to 11 am with only 200 people expected to attend.
He explains that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is the Chief Guest. The other guests include all the Bishops and their wives, government leaders, staff from Namirembe Diocese, the Uganda Martyrs Seminary, and the Provincial Secretariat.
Archbishop Kazimba emphasized that all other Christians are encouraged to follow on local TV stations and the Church of Uganda’s YouTube channel, all of which will be broadcasting live.
“An early African Christian teacher from the 2nd century AD called Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” The Kabaka thought he could stop the spread of Christianity by killing these youthful converts who refused to renounce their faith. The opposite happened. Their willingness to die for their faith fuelled the spread of the Gospel as others realized that it was a faith worth living for,” said Kaziimba in part.
The Archbishop said that the Martyrs knew life in its fullness something that many people failed to know when they failed to trust completely in Jesus Christ and make their life right.
“Many people today are sacrificing chickens, going underwater, and paying a lot of money to try to make their life right before God. Those activities are all empty; they are lies trying to steal, kill, and destroy you. Only trusting Jesus Christ completely and fully will make your life right and will give your Life in its Fullness,” he added.
Kaziimba encouraged Christians who have not visited Namugongo in the last few years to do so any time at their convenience also noting that this should be done with their children.