Forgotten Anti-Gay Martyrs of Africa

Forgotten Anti-Gay Martyrs of Africa

It was morning in East Africa. The day was May 26th, 1886 and along the shore of Lake Victoria the mist still hung thickly in the jungle undergrowth, although the sun had risen well above the horizon. The night-time cacophony of wildlife had long since subsided and the land was quiet except for the buzzing of insects and the murmur of hushed voices.

In a wide clearing on a hill above the lake a dramatic scene unfolded. Uganda’s King Mwanga was holding court in the open-air gathering place in front of his temporary residence, his royal palace being under repair after a fire.

The occasion was the trial of Charles Lwanga (circled in photograph), head of the royal page-boys and a convert from native pagan beliefs to Catholicism. Many of the young men under his care had become Catholics as well, while others had become Anglicans.

Lwanga’s crime was defiance of the King, whose authority over his subjects was total. The nature of his defiance was refusing to submit himself or his wards to homosexual sodomy by Mwanga, a violent pederast with voracious carnal appetites.

Lwanga knew he could expect no mercy from King Mwanga. In the preceding months the monarch had murdered five men for espousing Christian values, including the Anglican Bishop, James Hannington, and his own senior advisor Joseph Makasa (a recent Catholic convert) who criticized Mwanga for killing Hannington without giving him the traditional right to argue in his own defense. For that Makasa was beheaded. Three of Hannigton’s Anglican congregants were dismembered and their bodies burned.

However, it was not only Lwanga who would pay for denying King Mwanga his right to “gay” sex with the pages. Twenty five boys and young men would also share his fate, fifteen being his fellow Catholics, along with ten Anglicans.

With the rebels arrayed before him as a group, King Mwanga vented his white-hot rage, ordering the courageous souls to be bound with ropes, shackles, iron rings, and slave yokes and marched to the nearby city of Namugongo where they were held in those same torturous restraints for an entire week.

On June 3rd, not having yielded even under such abuse, they were murdered one-by-one, each being wrapped tightly in reed mats and thrown alive on a roaring fire.

The executioners were shocked when instead of begging for mercy or lamenting their cruel fate, the boys shouted encouragement to one another as they burned, like the martyrs of the ancient Roman amphitheaters.

Uganda is thus unique in all the world for celebrating the rejection of homosexual sodomy with its own annual holiday.

But it is a “holiday” that the pro-family movement around the world should embrace, as a reminder during “pride month” of what is really being celebrated under the stolen banner of God’s rainbow. “Gay Pride” is a culture of death, disease and brazen defiance of the One who created us male and female in His image, to bond together – one man and one woman — sealed by the covenant of true marriage.

Originally appeared at: Scott Lively