Three million pilgrims attend Anglican/Catholic festivals
The Primate of Uganda has marked the feast of the Martyrs of Uganda by calling upon politicians and voters to work for free and fair general elections next year. The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali told pilgrims at the Anglican Shrine to the Martyrs of Uganda at Namugongo on 3 June 2015 to vote into office “accountable people” who will do the work of government “without compromising the rights of our people.” The feast of the Martyrs of Uganda, 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts executed between November 1885 and January 1887 on the orders of the King of Buganda, Mwanga II, after they refused his homosexual advances following their conversion to Christianity, is a public holiday in Uganda. Pilgrims from across East Africa and the Great Lakes travel to the site of the martyrdom between May 25 and June 2. The pilgrimages reach their climax with nationally televised services on June 3 at the Catholic and then Anglican shrines and is the country’s principal public celebration of faith and national identity. The Ugandan press estimated over three million pilgrims participated in the festivities.