The 2020 Roman Catholic Uganda Martyrs' Day feast slated for May 29th for the youth and June 3 for the rest, was called off due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
RELIGION | COVID-19
Christians all over the world who will not be able to make the journey of faith to the Uganda Martyrs' Shrine at Namugongo have been asked to make the pilgrim from their homes.
The 2020 Roman Catholic Uganda Martyrs' Day feast slated for May 29 for the youth and June 3 for the rest, was called off due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is the first time in many years, the annual Uganda Martyrs' Day feast will not occur as COVID-19 has affected preparation plans, movement of pilgrims, and stringent restrictions on public gatherings.
Every year, pilgrims from different parts of the world trek to the Uganda Martyrs' shrines at Namugongo in Wakiso district for the Uganda Martyrs' Day celebrations.
Gervase Ndyanabo, the head of the Catholic laity in Uganda encouraged people to celebrate from their homes
The day is celebrated in remembrance of young men who were clubbed, speared, hacked and burnt to death in the tumultuous decade of 1880-89.
They had dared to defy the orders of Buganda's King Mwanga not to practice their newly acquired Muslim and Christian faiths.
In an interview with Gervase Ndyanabo, the head of the Catholic laity in Uganda and Company Secretary of Vision Group, he called upon fellow Christians who have been trekking to Namugongo and now asking themselves how to compensate for the day to continue reflecting on the life of the martyrs, even if the celebrations were cancelled.
"We are not going to make that long journey of faith to Namugongo but you can commemorate the day by visiting other shrines in the country, you can visit the places where the martyrs were born or you can visit any church that was named after a martyr to pray, your prayers will be heard," said Ndyanabo.
Ndyanabo encouraged those who might not be able to go to any of those houses of prayer to celebrate from their homes.
‘This is a time for all of us to get united in prayer so that the situation returns to normal," noted Ndyanabo.
When we visited both the Catholic and Anglican shrines, on Wednesday, we found the Anglican shrine gate closed and the Catholic shrine parking with only three cars parked inside.
If the celebrations were to be held, by now the first pilgrims would have arrived, activities would be going on, the business would be booming but the two shrines are very quiet.
The enterprising Ugandan vendors, who always cash in on this day outside the shrine are nowhere to be seen.