Uganda government intends to turn Namugongo Catholic and Protestant shrines into a prime religious destination in the world.-according to brief statement from State House.
According to United Nations World Tourism Organisation, faith-based tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry.
About 300 million tourists are estimated to visit the world’s major religious sites each year, which is approximately a quarter of all international tourist arrivals.
Some 600 million national and international religious voyages are undertaken annually.
According to the World Religious Travel Association, $18b is reaped annually by the religious tourism industry.
History of Martyrs Day
On June 3, 1886, Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda executed Uganda Martyrs in large numbers at Namugongo.
Mwanga believed that by heinously murdering more than 40 Christians, he would intimidate and stop the spread of Christianity in his kingdom.
However, the execution of the martyrs led to steady and firm increase in Christianity. More than 133 years since the execution of the martyrs, the number of Christian pilgrims that throng to the Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo to witness the spot where martyrs were murdered and also pray has been increasing.
78 years later, in 1964, they were declared martyrs.
By end of 1886, Christians especially Catholics had started making pilgrimages to places where the martyrs had been executed.
The pilgrims would pray to the martyrs to intercede for them. By 1887, word had reached the Vatican, Rome that miracles were happening to people especially in Uganda after they had prayed to the martyrs.
On August 14, 1912, Pope Pius X declared the Uganda Martyrs “Venerable”. the process – could now be undertaken with a view to beatification.
After the beatification of the Uganda Martyrs, in Rome, the Sacred Congregation directed Bishop Streicher in Uganda to set up an official tribunal in Uganda.