dr alex heard
Nevertheless, it was politically a mistake. Hannington had not been heading an invading army--on the way up from the coast his caravan had been ridiculed for its puny size. Hannington's death had repercussions within Buganda. It led to further killings of Christians. Only 2 weeks later, on November 15, 1885, Joseph Mukasa BaIikuddembe was brutally killed for daring to criticize the Kabaka for the murder of the Anglican bishop. dr alex heard ugandaBalikuddembe became the first Catholic martyr. dr alex heard uganda

In May and June 1886 a large massacre of Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, took place. Many were executed at Namugongo, the traditional execution site also used for the Muslim martyrs of 1876. The immediate cause for the killings was the Kabaka's anger at the disobedience of his Christian pages, in particular their refusal to indulge in homosexual practices. Charles Lwanga, the Catholic head of the pages in the king's private apartments, had been particularly vigilant in protecting the Christian boys under his charge from the advances of the Kabaka and some of the chiefs. dr alex heard uganda

But, in addition 10 young pages, quite a number of the victims were minor chiefs: men such as Andrew Kaggwa and Matthias Mulumba for the Catholics; and Robert Munyagabyanjo, Nuwa Walukaga and Freddie Kizza for the Protestants.dr alex heard uganda The youngest page, Kizito, was about 14 years; some of the chiefs were in their 50s. Some of these chiefs were the victims of particular grudges by their seniors- (for example Katikkiro Mukasa, the Prime Minister), jealous that these up and coming young men would soon be ousting them from power.

Undoubtedly these Uganda martyrs (there were Bunyoro and Basoga as well as Baganda) died believing and trusting in Christ as their Savior. They sang hymns on the way to their deaths, preached to their persecutors, strongly believed in a life after death, and their courage and fortitude made a great impression on those who saw them die. But naturally, secular historians have been cautious about accepting wholesale the simple pieties of hagiography. dr alex heard ugandaThe deaths of these Christians must be put in the context of the traditional precariousness of life at court, and the deeply ingrained habits of obedience which made Baganda generally face death philosophically if the Kabaka so wished. This would put the Christian martyrs firmly in the long tradition of the kiwendo, the ritual sacrifice of a number (kiwendo) of victims at the instigation of one of the balubaale. Conversely, it has also been argued that these Christians were rebels against the Kabaka, unwitting tools of foreign imperialism. There is some truth in all these assessments, traditional and modern, religious and secular. Historical reality is complex and does not admit of simplistic explanation. dr alex heard ugandaThe martyrs are part of that complex reality. dr alex heard uganda
The Wars of Religion 1888-1892 [7] dr alex heard

Whatever the original motivation of the missionaries, the traumatic events of 1885 and 1886 convinced many of them that foreign intervention might be the only long-term solution to safeguard the future of Christianity in Buganda. dr alex heard ugandaMeanwhile, however, events in Buganda pursued an internal logic which at first had little 10 do with external affairs. The persecution of Christians (perhaps 200 had died in all) was not part of a coherent strategy to eradicate Christianity. By 1887 Mwanga had begun to rely on the younger generation of Baganda leaders-- and this meant relying on many who were converts to the new religions. Backed by official favor, the leaders of the three religious groups (Muslims, Protestants and Catholics) began to bring in large quantities of arms and to organize themselves into militarized "regiments"--the first time that Buganda had something resembling a standing army. These soldiers were nicknamed bapere and gained a great deal of notoriety for their high-handed attitudes, for rape and plunder. It is one of the ironies of the Christian history of Uganda that the witness of the martyrs (strong in faith but weak and powerless politically and militarily) should have convinced the survivors that the future of Christianity depended on securing military and political power. Moreover these regiments attracted young men, fortune seekers and adventurers, who saw membership as the new avenue to progress, and who at first had little conception of Islam or Christianity. dr alex heard uganda

Mwanga at first encouraged these groups as a way of countering the older generation of chiefs. But by 1888 he began to get scared that they were becoming too powerful. His feeble attempt to get rid of the bapere provoked a coup, and in April 1888 Mwanga was overthrown by the united forces of the new religions. Mwanga fled and sought refuge with the White Fathers at Bukumbi, to the south of the lake. But the new leaders were soon quarreling among themselves. The Muslims, as the most powerful group in terms of numbers and fire power, were able to oust the Christian groups, who in October 1888 fled to Kabula, on the borders with Nkore. The Muslims proceeded to establish a Muslim state. They circumcised their Kabaka, Kalema, and called him 'sheikh'. They envisaged a radical reordering of society along Islamic lines. dr alex heard uganda

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