Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) — Uganda is at the heart of African resistance to Western countries trying to impose their anti-family and anti-life agenda: abortion, contraception, and LGBT ideology. Why is that?

It’s because the resistance stems from the blood of martyrs.

Today’s episode of The John-Henry Westen Show comes at you from the Munyonyo Martyrs’ Shrine in Kampala, which pays tribute to the Uganda Martyrs killed for their faith in the late 1800s. I spoke with Father Wojtek “Male” Ulman, rector of the Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs, and Father Joseph Mukasa Muwonge, the world’s foremost expert on the martyrs.

(If you missed this week’s interviews with Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere of Uganda and Bishop Joseph Mwongela of Kenya, click here to watch.)

Father Muwonge gave us some of the background on the Uganda Martyrs, exactly why they were killed, and how they keep the Ugandan people strong in the fight for life and family.

“The Uganda Martyrs contributed a great deal to the spread of the Gospel on the continent,” he said. “They had problems with the then-kings of Uganda. And the major role they played was to refuse to adhere to non-Christian behavior — above all they remained firm putting God first.”

Although it is true that some were martyred because they refused inappropriate homosexual acts with the king, Father Muwonge said this was “not the major cause of the martyrdom of these boys,” but that an explicit refusal to “abandon the Christian faith” was.

“Above all … it was the work of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If it was not the Holy Spirit, I wonder whether they would have proved themselves so much to that extent.”

READ: African bishop: We will stand for God’s truth ‘even if it means martyrdom’

On this episode we’ll take you around the shrine, and you’ll hear Fathers Male and Muwonga recount the stories of the Uganda Martyrs, including specific details on names, dates, and circumstances.

For example, Andrew Kaggwa was martyred at the site of the shrine and is buried in a tomb there as well. Father Male told me Kaggwa is one of the most notable martyrs because of his role in bringing the sacrament of marriage to Uganda, just a few years after the arrival of the first Christian missionaries.

“So he is seen as an example for family life, as an example for being a strong and faithful husband,” he said. “It was Andrew Kaggwa who became the main evangelizer. His home … became like the local church. People from all over the kingdom were coming for catechism. He was the one taking care [of them], preparing them for sacraments. In some extraordinary cases, he was even baptizing them, as there was no priest. And at the same time, [his] wife was taking care … of visitors. So that’s why his marriage has been seen as a truly exemplary marriage.”

Father Muwonga stated that had the king allowed the executioners to kill women and missionaries, the number of martyrs would have been much, much higher.

It was clear from speaking to these faithful priests just how important the Uganda Martyrs are to the people here. May they intercede in heaven for us, for Uganda, and all of Africa in this time of widespread error, confusion, and evil.

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and Acast. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe to the audio version on various channels, visit the Acast webpage here.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so that we can notify you every week when we post a new episode. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified by YouTube when there is new content.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].

Featured Image

John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization. He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.