Faithful Friday: Archbishop Janani Luwum

By Sarah Levesque (Rated PG)

Janani Luwum was born in Uganda in 1923. He grew up to be a school teacher, then converted to Christianity in 1948. The following year he attended a seminary school, then returned to his home in Acoli to teach others about his faith. After three years, Luwum decided it was time to go back to seminary to become a priest in the Anglican Church of Uganda. He was ordained a deacon in 1955 and a priest in 1956. After studying in England, he was appointed Provincial Secretary of the Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire in 1966, then in 1969 he was consecrated bishop of Northern Uganda.

The early 1970s saw political upheaval and corruption marked by violence and racism. Bishop Luwum worked to keep people safe and to reform the Anglican Church of Uganda. In 1974, Luwum was elected Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire. He joined with Roman Catholics and Muslims to speak out against the violence. In 1977, church leaders were being persecuted, exiled or arrested. Archbishop Luwum told one of his bishops, “They are going to kill me. I am not afraid”. He was murdered shortly thereafter. His death sparked a spirit of revolution, and the political regime only lasted a few years longer.

May we, like Archbishop Luwum, be “prepared to die in the army of Jesus.”


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