Remembrance Of Archbishop Janani Luwum
This holiday falls on the anniversary of his death in 1977. In Uganda, this 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 of all time.
The History Of The Remembrance of Archbishop Janani Luwum
Janani Luwum was born in 1922 and converted to Christianity when he was 22 years old. In 1954, at the age of 28, he would become a priest and quickly rose through the ranks of the church, eventually becoming appointed in 1974 as Church Archbishop. 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’s been estimated by the United Nations, that during this time, 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 other people to speak out. In 1977, he delivered a note to the president protesting against the vices of the regime, which included murder and abductions of political opponents.
On February 16th, 1977, Luwum was arrested and accused of treason for trying to start a coup. Two of his cabinet members were also arrested. After a car crash, the three were announced dead at the scene. At least, that was the story. When the family received the body, they found that it was riddled with gunshot wounds.
The death of Archbishop Janani Luwum would become 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 Remembrance of Archbishop Janani Luwum and it would be observed for the first time in 2016.
Observing The Remembrance of Archbishop Janani Luwum
During this day, there are 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.