Marty’s day celebrates 45 years (both catholic and Anglican) of the people that were killed on orders of Kabaka Mwanga 11 then king of Buganda between 1885-1887.
The Kabaka found religion as the biggest threat to his rulership and thus expelled missionaries and threatened converts to denounce their faith or face execution.
Many new converts to Christianity both catholic and Anglican faced execution between January 31st 1885- January 27th 1887. About 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic.
On June 3rd 1887, 32 young men were burned to death in Namugongo under the command of Kabaka Mwanga for their refusal to denounce Christianity in Namugongo.
There are two separate martyrs shrines in Namugongo close to each other for Catholics and Anglicans.
When the party came to an end, Kabaka Mwanga11 went to exile and while there, converted to an Anglican.
This year however the Anglican shrine alone, expects about 20,000 pilgrims to join in the commemoration of the great act of faith shown by these martyrs.
Many fund raisings are happening to facilitate the event. Post Bank donates 15 million while the speaker of parliament on behalf of parliament contributes 50m among many other contributions.
This year’s theme for 3rd June Martyrs day celebration is from the book of Lamentations 3:23, ” Hope beyond affliction”
Martyrs day is in 4 days and many pilgrims already at the site are warming up for the celebrations organized this year by the Anglican Church dioceses from Ankole sub-region.