Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Day in Uganda Date in the current year: February 16, 2024

Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Day in Uganda Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Day, also known as simply Luwum Day, is a public holiday in Uganda celebrated on February 16. It was officially established by President Yoweri Museveni in 2015.

Janani Luwum was born in 1922. Having graduated from teaching college, he taught at a primary school for several years before converting to Christianity and enrolling at Buwasi Theological College. He was ordained a priest in 1954 and was appointed Archbishop of the Metropolitan Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire two decades later.

After the 1971 Ugandan coup d’état, Luwum was one of the leading critics of the Idi Amin regime. Amin’s rule was characterized by political repression and human rights abuses. The president persecuted many ethnic, political and religious groups, including Christians (Amin himself was a Muslim). In 1977, Archbishop Luwum delivered a note of protest against Amin’s policies of unexplained disappearances and arbitrary killings.

On February 16, 1977 Luwum was arrested and accused of treason and planning to stage a coup. The next day, it was announced that he had died in a car crash while being transported to an interrogation center. However, when Archbishop’s body was released to his relatives, there were bullet holes in it. Some claimed that Amin himself had shot Luwum.

The Church of England and the Anglican Communion recognize Luwum as martyr and commemorate his death on February 17. In Uganda, the anniversary of his arrest is a public holiday. On this day, a wreath laying ceremony is held at Luwum’s grave.

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Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Day, Luwuma Day, holidays in Uganda, public holidays, memorial days