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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ugandan Martyrs

Religion is an important aspect of the Ugandan lifestyle and on Saturday, we had the opportunity to visit two different Martyrs Shrines. In the late 1800's, many missionaries traveled into Uganda with the hopes of converting Ugandan citizens to the Christian faith. This act was considered a great offense to the kingdom and those who chose to participate suffered grave consequences. In the year 1886, 22 Ugandan Martyrs (those who became Chrisitans) were killed by the order of King Mwanga because they refused to condemn their Christian faith. Now, the site of the holocaust is a place of pilgrimage and remembrance. Can you think of any stories in other cultures that are similar to the Ugandan Martyrs? How does religion play a role in sustainable development?


  1. The Martyrs Shrines were very interesting to visit. Religion is very important to Ugandans and this was shown by how well they respect their past. Religion is important to sustainable development because it shapes the decisions Ugandans make. Ugandans will make business and personal decisions that are following their faith. The whole Martyrs story is still relevant in Uganda today. They have a national holiday to remember the past and many people will walk for days to be at the shrines on this holiday.

  2. Religion is important in many different cultures, but I didn't realize just how valued it was in Uganda until after visiting the shrines. I am not the most well versed on a wide variety of religions, but off the top of my head I cannot think of anything similar to the Ugandan Martyrs. Religion plays a role in sustainable development because if people are allowed to practice the religion they believe in then there will most likely be less conflicts. With less conflict there is a better chance of building more sustainable businesses and a more stable economy.

  3. I actually found the Martyrs Shrines very interesting. I had an aha moment while I was writing my journal for this day. I don't understand how people can be so mean to each other especially because religion. Even though there are many different religions all of them have a common purpose. Each religion has the purpose of worship so one day the person can go to a better place when they pass. I don't understand why people have to fight because of small differences. Religion has been known to cause wars, and wars are bad for the economy. I believe that if people of other religions could get along and there was no war then religion and the economy would have no relation. In this sense religion is not helping sustainable development.

  4. I think it is great that people still make a pilgrimage and walk miles/days to celebrate and remember this event that was a big part in their history and religion. It was interesting to me to hear the different views people have on the 'holy water." it was shocking to me how many different views the MUBS students alone had on the water. While some people were washing their hands in it, others did not believe it was holy at all. I think religion can effect sustainable development both positively and negatively in some cases. I think it can occasionally cause people to stay stuck in the past because a lot of the time people are afraid of changing certain things in their cultural beliefs. It can also have a positive effect because it can cause you to have better morals and less conflict.

  5. I actually found the shrines very interesting! I was not expecting Ugandans to be so up front about their religion. It is common to have people randomly speaking about their religion in the middle of the streets! The story of the martyrs was interesting and inspiring. I think it is amazing that every June 3rd people of Africa unite to honor the sacrifice the martyrs faced! Religion plays a huge role in sustainable development because it influences peoples' beliefs and decisions.

    1. I would also like to add that religion plays as a key motivator for success. I believe it drives Ugandans to push through the hardships and work hard for a better life...which in return improves the sustainable development of the country.