Would you like to discover the hidden treasures of Kampala capital city? Do you know where Uganda’s tremendous martyrs are found? Do you wish to experience a great change in your spiritual life? If you are a faith or religious tourist and you wish to participate in faith based tourism that nurtures and inspires your travel experiences then visit the Uganda Martyrs Shrines that stand tall in Namugongo. These incredible shrines are situated about 15 kilometers East of Kampala capital city away from Jinja Road-Namugongo a previously execution area where all the Christians who denounced the King of Buganda’s powers at a time painfully shed their blood. It is in this area that all the fourteen people out of 22 Christians were burnt by Buganda King-Mwanga the second in 1886. Out of the many Christians who were killed, it is estimated that over 32 young men lost their lives and these however, included both Anglican and catholic Christians.
Today, the Uganda Martyrs celebrations are among the biggest events that are highly recognized and respected in Uganda and every year 3rd of June is marked nation wide as a public holiday in Uganda’s calendar where people are from various regions gather to remember the lives of those who endured the painful killing at a time. Most surprisingly, thousands and millions of pilgrims walk or travel across various regions in East Africa and across Africa to Namugongo Martyrs to commemorate their lives. In 2015 alone, over 2 million pilgrims were estimated to have attended this tremendous annual event.
The shrines were also acknowledged by Joshua Sarufusa Zake who went a head to build Namugongo site where it seems the Martyrs Shrines were constructed later for annual prayers. The 22 of the catholic martyrs were canonized by Pope Paul the fourth on October 1964 and they are now called “saints” in the Catholic Church. Meanwhile there were about 23 Anglican Christians who were also burnt in the same period and during Uganda’s Martyrs Ceremony, both Christian fraternities come together to ensure this event goes on successfully. A basilica has also been constructed at the point where many of these martyrs were burnt to death just 2 miles further east from the Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs. There were also 76 Muslims that were killed in the similar sense by the Kabaka of Buganda at a time.
The shrine has one of the remarkable and outstanding interior and exterior and it is popularly credited with its rarest shape and architectural plan. The 22 copper pillars rise to over 100 feet high which also helps to support the shrine. It is constructed based inform of African hut that depicts the reality about the martyrs.
However, tourism has become a social economic venture that has not yet been explored in Uganda although faith or religious based tourism attracts millions of pilgrims to such areas. The government of Uganda and the Christian fraternity are working hard to ensure that the Uganda Martyrs Shrines at Namugongo become the leading tourism site for visitors across the region and continent to come and visit. Pay a visit to Uganda’s tremendous Martyrs Shrines and walk away with a positive change in your Christian life!
All in all, the Uganda Martyrs Shrines are true representation of love, faith and believe in a Christian life. Thousands have already visited these shrines and they have experienced a unique life, now it is your turn to also come and demonstrate your faith and Love for God. It will be an incredible moment sharing memories as you explore the faith that the people of Uganda have at heart!