Remembrance Of Archbishop Janani Luwum

Observed on the 16th of February, the Remembrance of Archbishop Janani Luwum is a holiday in Uganda dedicated to the life and service of the former Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda.

This holiday falls on the anniversary of his death in 1977. In Uganda, it is a public holiday, and as a result, many schools, government offices, and businesses are closed for the day. Even though he has been dead for many years now, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential leaders in the modern church in Africa.

The History of the Remembrance of Archbishop Janani Luwum

Janani Luwum was born in 1922 and converted to Christianity at the age of 22. In 1954, at the age of 32, he became a priest and quickly rose through the ranks of the church, eventually being appointed in 1974 as Church Archbishop. He was the third Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaire.

In 1971, there was a military coup, and dictator Idi Amin proclaimed himself to be the President of Uganda. During this time, there were numerous human rights violations, and political corruption was rampant. It has been estimated by the United Nations that approximately 100,000 people were killed while Idi Amin was in power.

Archbishop Luwum was highly critical of Amin’s regime and actively opposed him. He also encouraged others to speak out. In 1977, he delivered a note to the president protesting against the vices of the regime, which included the murder and abductions of political opponents.

On February 16th, 1977, Luwum was arrested and accused of treason for allegedly trying to start a coup. Two of his cabinet members were also arrested. After a supposed car crash, the three were announced dead at the scene. At least, that was the official story. When the family received the body, they found that it was riddled with gunshot wounds.

The death of Archbishop Janani Luwum became an important turning point in the history of Uganda. He became a public hero, and in 2015, a holiday to commemorate his death was proposed. The holiday would be the Remembrance of Archbishop Janani Luwum and would be observed for the first time in 2016.

Observing the Remembrance of Archbishop Janani Luwum

During this day, a variety of secular and religious services are observed. There are parades, religious services, memorial services, and other events. It’s a day off for the general public, and a day when schools, businesses, and many government offices are closed. On social media, the hashtag #JananiLuwumRemembranceDay can be used to spread the word about this day and the Ugandan hero it commemorates.

Where is it celebrated?
Uganda (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
February 16 Friday
Next year (2025)
February 16 Sunday
Last year (2023)
February 16 Thursday