Friday, February 17, 2017

The Feast Of Janani Luwum

Archbishop Luwum is a recent addition, yet one who fits the traditional mold of Christian martyrdom.  Luwum was the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda when Idi Amin seized power in the early 1970's.  In events that would seem remarkably familiar to any student of early Christianity, Luwum challenged the dictator for his excessive, often brutal, treatment of the Ugandan people.  In return, the Archbishop was arrested, told to read from a prepared "confession" and then executed on this day in 1977.  While the government originally claimed him to be a victim of an automobile accident, his body, when released to his family, bore wounds consistent with multiple gunshots.  It has always been rumored that he was martyred by Amin himself.

Above, on the right, is the statue to Luwum that is found in the martyr's corner at Westminster Abbey.

O God, whose Son the Good Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep: We give you thanks for your faithful shepherd Janani Luwum, who after his Savior’s example, gave up his life for the people of Uganda. Grant us to be so inspired by his witness that we make no peace with oppression, but live as those who are sealed with the cross of Christ, who died and rose again, and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.