KAMPALA, Uganda, June 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Though their courage in the face of certain and horrible death was exemplary, the reason why Uganda’s 45 young male martyrs were burned to death by King Mwanga II on June 3 191 years ago has fallen behind a veil of silence that enshrouds even the Christian news media, as a story in Christianity Today this month shows.
The silence, according to defenders of the natural family and Christian sexual morality, reflects the success of homosexual activists in driving all criticism of same-sex relations from public discourse.
“Across the Western media, and it is creeping even into Christian media, homosexual violence is all off limits,” said Scott Lively, the outspoken Evangelical pastor and defender of the natural family and Christian values who has been blamed for exporting American-style homophobia to Uganda.
When Pope Francis visited the shrine to the 22 Catholic martyrs in January, the mass he celebrated was covered by mainstream and Catholic newsmedia without any mention that they and their 23 Anglican confreres were immolated by Mwanga because they rejected, in Christ’s name, his homosexual advances.
Now, to mark this year’s Martyrs’ Day, Christianity Today has covered the efforts of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni to encourage the Anglicans to build a shrine to their martyrs as good as the Catholic one, and equally attractive to pilgrims from all over Africa. As with the Catholic media a half-year earlier, there was no mention of the cause of their martyrdom.
Under the headline, “African Pilgrims Pour into Uganda for Martyrs Day,” the story details Anglican efforts to upgrade their shrine, plus an internal Church of Uganda wrangle over showing respect for the spirits of the dead ancestors, and finishes with statistics about world religious tourism, including the fact that Jerusalem was “the most popular destination for Israel’s 3 million visitors in 2015.”
Anglican and Catholic missionaries had reached Uganda only a few years before but by 1885 they had found many eager listeners within Mwanga’s court, especially among the young men sent as courtiers/hostages from villages throughout his kingdom. “When they refused to submit to his sodomy,” Lively told LifeSiteNews, “King Mwanga marched them 27 miles tied and bound, and roasted them to death.”
Though some accounts say the death march was only eight miles (and may have been Mwanga’s way of persuading the young men to relent), no one disputes what happened next. According to America Magazine, their leader Charles Lwanga “was wrapped tightly in a reed mat, a yoke was hung on his neck, and he was thrown onto a pyre. Taunting his executioners, Charles is said to have shouted, ‘You are burning me, but it is as if you are pouring water over my body!’ Before he died he cried out, ‘Katonda,’ or ‘My God.’” Undeterred, the rest went willingly to their deaths in the same way.
Lively told LifeSiteNews, “There is a fear in the Christian media of being accused of hatred of homosexuals. So many Christian outlets just simply avoid the topic. But when you stop telling the truth, there are long term consequences.”
Lively has found there are consequences for telling the truth too. After leading workshops in Uganda in 2009 and 2011 condemning homosexuality, he was blamed by Western homosexual activists for the introduction of a harsh bill against it while the indigenous roots of Uganda’s hostility to homosexuality were ignored. He was the subject of a frivolous lawsuit for “crimes against humanity” in U.S. courts, originating with Ugandan homosexuals, that he predicts will be dismissed this year.
Lively continues to preach against homosexuality through Abiding Truth Ministries and Scott Lively Ministries.