President Museveni will not attend the Uganda Martyrs day celebrations in Namugongo as earlier had been scheduled, the Nile Post has learnt.
The Church of Uganda Provincial Secretary, Rev Canon William Ongeng last week announced that the president had been invited to attend the celebrations as the chief guest.
This website has learnt that the president will not attend the celebrations but rather sent a pre-recorded message that will be aired by the various TV stations.
In the message, Museveni hails the 45 martyrs who he said showed “heroic” courage by choosing to face death than recant their religion.
“Despite being just new converts, they proved to be steadfast and firm in teachings of Christianity. The Uganda Martyrs are like the seeds which fell on good ground as Jesus Christ in the parable of the sower,”Museveni says.
“The example of their fortitude and endurance has helped to plant the kingdom of God in hearts of men and women.”
Both the Catholic and Anglican churches on Monday announced that only 60 people had been invited to attend the Uganda martyrs day celebrations at Namugongo.
The Bishop of Namirembe Diocese, Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, said only 40 people have been invited to attend the celebrations on the side of the Anglican church for prayers to be led by Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba whereas the Catholic church has invited 20 people for prayers to be led by Kampala Archbishop, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
Prayers at both sites will be broadcast live on radio and television.
Every year, thousands of pilgrims travel from within and outside Uganda to celebrate the 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity who were killed on orders of then Buganda king, Mwanga II between 1885 and 1887.
The move to limit the number of pilgrims at Namugongo for the 56th Uganda martyrs days celebrations is meant to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.