Atotal of 60 people have been invited as members of the Anglican and Catholic churches to commemorate Martyrs Day on June 3 due to Covid-19.
The Bishop of Namirembe Diocese, Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, yesterday said only 40 people have been invited to attend the Anglican prayers which will be broadcast on radio and television.
“I have been informed that authorities have allowed us to hold prayers which will be attended by a few people but we advise the believers to stay safe at home,” said Bishop Luwalira who represented Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba at the press conference at Namugongo Martyrs Shrine yesterday.
At the Catholic Shrine, Rev Fr Joseph Mukasa Muwonge, the promoter of devotion for Uganda Martyrs, said they have invited only 20 people for prayers to be led by the Archbishop of Kampala, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
On the issue of opening churches following closure in March, Bishop Luwalira warned believers and those in authority not to rush to avoid regrets.
“Many christians are yearning to see churches opened. I appeal to everyone to wait for the guidance from the leaders to avoid regrets. We stand with our leaders as they continue to consult government and health experts to avoid decisions that would lead us into regrets,” Bishop Luwalira said.
He revealed that Masaka Diocese, which was set to lead the prayers, will hold a mass in their area while other a believers will attend through the media.
Bishop Luwalira also asked people to use the time at home to explain to their respective family members the purpose of making pilgrimage to Namugongo. This, he said, is aimed to dispel the notion that it is about worshipping the dead.
“We do not come to Namugongo to worship martyrs, we do not worship the dead but we honour them, share their courage and reflect on our faith. As we stay home, let us pray for God’s intervention to end the pandemic,” said Bishop Luwalira commending government for supporting the church towards the construction of the Namugongo Martyrs Museum.
Meanwhile, the Church of Uganda has asked believers to support the development of the Namugongo Martyrs’ Museum which will cost Shs58 billion.
Bishop Jackson Matovu, the chairman Uganda Martyrs Museum Development Committee, said the required funds would help in the construction of second phase of the Uganda martyrs’ museum comprising of a worship centre or amphitheatre with a parish community church, the five storey martyrs’ museum tower, 200 roomed museum hotel, children’s park with recreation center and others.
Bishop Matovu said out of the required Shs58 billion, the church will contribute 70 per cent while the government contribution will be 30 per cent.