A DAY of commemoration for the martyred Archbishop of Uganda,
Janani Luwum, has been held this week, 38 years after he was
assassinated under the regime of President Idi Amin.
Archbishop Luwum was a leading voice in criticising the
human-rights abuses of Amin's regime. Accused of treason, he was
arrested on 16 February 1977, and shot - some reports say by Amin
The day of his death is a lesser festival in Common
Worship, and his statue is one of those of 20th-century
martyrs on the front of Westminster Abbey.
This week's celebration was the first official event to be held
to mark his death. The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni,
announced that there would be a national holiday on 16 February
each year to commemorate Archbishop Luwum.
The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, preached at the memorial
service in the town where Archbishop Luwum was born, in northern
Dr Sentamu, who was himself imprisoned, tortured, and later
forced to leave Uganda in 1974, said: "Archbishop Luwum was a great
friend, a determined shepherd, and a remarkable leader. When I
finished my degree in theology, it was he who propelled me into the
Church. Martyrs like Janani show us that following Christ and his
teaching to love and serve others is costly. Janani's love of
Christ should inspire all of us to live out the gospel in our
The service was led by the current Archbishop of Uganda, the
Most Revd Stanley Ntagali. He told members of the martyred
Archbishop's family: "Your father has always held a special place
in our heart as the Church of Uganda. He has been remembered in
many dioceses and local congregations since his death. Today, in
the fullness of God's time, his memory and significance is being
embraced by the entire country."