|The Cost of Discipleship, Part 1|
|Written by Sherry|
|Wednesday, 24 March 2010 07:03|
On this snowbound morning, I thought it would be good to meditate on the lives of some Christian martyrs, who are unknown to many of us, but well known enough in the Anglican world to be honored on the Great West Door of Westminister Abbey.
Manche Masemola (1913-1928) was a Christian martyr, of the Pedi tribe, lived in Marishane, a small village near Pietersburg, in South Africa. German and then English missionaries had worked in the Transvaal for several decades and by the early twentieth century there was a Pedi Christian minority which was widely viewed with distrust by the remainder of the tribe who still practiced the traditional tribal religion.
She attended classes in preparation for baptism with her cousin Lucia, against the wishes of her parents. When she came home she would be beaten by her parents. Manche found herself saying that she would be baptized in her own blood. Her parents took her to a spirit priest, claiming that she had been bewitched. She was prescribed a traditional remedy, which her parents made her consume by beating her. She died shortly after without having been baptized. Manche's mother denied this and 40 years later was herself baptized.
Janani Jakaliya Luwum (1922 – 17 February 1977), was the Anglican Archbishop of the Church of Uganda from 1974 to 1977. He was murdered in 1977 by either Idi Amin personally or by Amin's henchmen.
Archbishop Luwum was a leading voice in criticizing the excesses of the Idi Amin regime in Uganda that assumed power in 1971. In 1977, Archbishop Luwum delivered a note of protest to dictator Idi Amin against the policies of arbitrary killings and unexplained disappearances. Shortly afterwards the archbishop and other leading churchmen were accused of treason.
Henry Kyemba, Amin's former Minister of Health, sought political asylum in the UK and wrote a tell all book about the life of the former dictator. At the time, Amin claimed that the three had been killed in a traffic accident shortly after he had denounced them as traitors at a mass meeting. In reality, Kyemba writes, the three were killed by Amin's dread secret police. Kyemba, as Health Minister, was asked to arrange for the arrival of the bodies at a local mortuary. "As I expected," he writes, "they were bullet-riddled. The archbishop had been shot through the mouth and had three or four bullets in his chest." Doctors obliged Amin by writing in their post-mortem report, however, that the three had died of internal injuries.
More martyrs in a bit.