Uganda martyrs shrine Namugongo
For their refusal to renounce Christianity, 45 young converts of the Catholic and Anglican faiths were on the fateful day of June 3, 1886 burned to death by Kabaka Mwanga II’s orders, the then king of Buganda –at Namugongo. As a tribute to them, a shrine designed by Swiss architect Justus Dahinden was built in 1973 at the site the martyrs were murdered.
The Uganda Martyrs shrine Namugongo is situated about 14km from the city centre of Kampala, and it has hosted prominent people like the catholic top leaders and many significant political leaders. Before his visit to Uganda in 1993, Pope Paul VI had canonized the 22 catholic martyrs and considered them as saints in the Catholic Church. The current Pope, Pope Francis visited Uganda recently and as well paid a visit to this popular site, Namugongo shrine. According to the written history, only 45 people are known to have been persecuted but it is possible that many other Christians were killed by Mwanga II for the same reason but not much data is available concerning their deaths.
Namugongo martyrs shrine is a worthy tribute, an architectural land mark, with rich historical touch and a sound religious monument. The shrine has become a popular tourist attract as it pulls thousands of visitors to tour Kampala city and short Uganda safaris from all over the world, to come and pay tribute to the youthful men who died for faith. A multitude of pilgrims throng this place from all walks of life on 3rd June every year to memorize and pray for the martyrs, and this is a day to pray, repent and memorize the benevolence from the almighty.