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1977 – Martyrdom and the Centenary Celebrations in Idi Amin's Uganda

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1977 was a crucial year in the history of the Anglican Church of Uganda, a year when the Archbishop of the church was brutally murdered and that also marked one hundred years of Christianity in Uganda. After he came to power in 1971, despite a promising start, President Idi Amin’s relationship with the church quickly soured as his regime brought on unprecedented levels of repression and violence in the country. Throughout this period the Church of Uganda was forced to navigate a tense political climate and insecurity while planning for expensive national Centenary Celebrations. Within this atmosphere Archbishop Janani Luwum stood up to Amin’s government in a series of moves that ultimately led to his death in February 1977, leaving the Church of Uganda without a leader at one of the most important points in its hundred year history. In a dissertation concerned with the history of the post-colonial Church of Uganda, this particular year is central to an understanding of the development of the institution from its colonial origins; this talk with focus on the circumstances and significance of Luwum’s death and the background to the Centenary Celebrations.

This talk is part of the Caius MCR/SCR research talks series.

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