The Anglican Church has announced that it will hold this year’s Uganda martyrs day celebration despite the Coronavirus scare.
In a message by the Church of Uganda Provincial Secretary, Rev Canon William Ongeng, the celebrations will be held but with a few people scheduled to attend.
“This year due to the government restrictions on public gatherings because of the Covid-19, we are going to have celebrations in Namugongo but with very few invited people,”Ongeng said.
He revealed that President Museveni has been invited as the chief guest at the celebrations.
According to the statement, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Most Rev Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu is expected to make an on-site visit to Namugongo on Monday and also address a press conference with the chairman of the Namugongo Development Committee and other church leaders.
“All further details on the program for the Martyrs Day Celebration will be communicated during Monday’s Press Conference.”
The development comes barely a month after the Catholic Church announced that for the first time, in many years, the annual martyrs day celebrations will not be held over Coronavirus which they said has affected preparation plans, movement of pilgrims and restrictions on public gatherings.
Masaka diocese was supposed to organize this year’s celebrations.
“The position of Masaka Diocese should be understood in light of the fact that organizing the celebrations requires frequent meetings. It demands unfettered movement of persons. Above all, with the virus still alive in many countries including Uganda, it is not certain when restrictions on gatherings and movements will be lifted,” Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa said in a letter to members of the Uganda Episcopal Conference in April.
Every year, millions of pilgrims from various parts of the world congregate at Namugongo near the site where majority of the Christian converts were killed on orders of the then Buganda king.
This year’s celebrations are the 56th since 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity were killed on orders of then Buganda king, Mwanga II between 1885 and 1887.