Religious Superior Murdered in Uganda

News: World News
by Martina Moyski  •  •  July 10, 2019   

Emblematic of larger wave of Christian persecution

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KAMPALA, Uganda ( - A religious superior was murdered under mysterious circumstances in Kampala, the capital of Uganda on July 3.

Brother Norbert Emmanuel Mugarura, the Superior General of the Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga, was last seen at the Church of Christ the King, according to John Baptist Kaggwa, bishop emeritus of Masaka, to Agenzia Fides.

Mugarura may have been abducted after a meeting at the Church and then taken to the University of Kyambogo, according to Kaggwa.

Mugarura had scheduled a series of meetings throughout the Ugandan capital on the day of his murder, it was reported.

It is confirmed that the 46-year-old religious superior stopped in Rubaga to meet one of his congregation members.

Then the Mugarura had another meeting at the Church of Christ the King.

His travel plan further included stops in Namugongo, site of the Ugandan Martyrs' Shrine, and in Nsambya, at the headquarters of the Association of Religious of Uganda (ARU).

But he never made it to either of those stops.

He was a true servant of God.

Kampalan police are eyeing a suspect — a student who attends the University of Kyambogo and whose studies from primary school to university had been financially supported by Mugarura.

According to the police, Mugarura was killed in the student's room.

Police speculate that the student wanted to take Mugarura's car to hide the body. But faced with the refusal of the employees of a car park to give him the car, he had to call a cleaning company.

Kaggwa has questions regarding the crime: "Who gave Brother an appointment in the Church of Christ the King? Did someone persuade the religious to go to the University of Kyambogo or was he led there by force?" — adding he suspects there are other people involved in the crime.

Kaggwa also said he was "embittered by the rumors running on social media, according to which the student [who] killed Brother Mugarura [had] to defend himself against harassment."

"They are all lies touted to hide the truth and discredit the Catholic Church," said the bishop. "We knew Brother Mugarura well and we have no doubts about his moral correctness.

Since Mugarura "had become Superior General of the Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga in January, he had re-established the internal order in the institute, taking care of the spiritual part, and taking care that the vows of poverty and chastity were respected," Kaggwa emphasized.

"The rate at which people are murdered in this country is so worrying; the killing of the superior general is a big blow to this community, and we cannot leave police and other security organs to do it alone," said Kaggwa, who called for a private investigation into the murder.


Christians in eastern Uganda are among those in their faith who face the most serious dangers in the world, according to World Watch Monitor, a group that tracks persecutions of Christians.

A plurality of inhabitants of Uganda are Catholic and make up 39.3% of the total population. Anglican, Muslim and Pentecostal believers represent 32%, 13.7% and 11.1% of the total population respectively.

The Muslim population may represent an even higher percentage of the total than reported.

"Muslims are 25% of the total population," Hajj Mutumba, a spokesman of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, said, according to The Washington Times. "We have two to four wives, and we are producing about six children in a space of two to three years."

Many Ugandan Christians live in fear of their life as Muslims quest for conversions.

According to The Washington Times, Muslim extremists belong to the Alliance of Democratic Forces, a Congo-based group of Ugandan insurgents who have fought against their country's government in Kampala. The alliance stokes anti-Christian feelings in the region while it calls for Sharia law.

Persecution of Christians commonly includes murder, acid attack, machete attack, torture and imprisonment and rape. Many Christian converts have escaped into hiding.

Mugarura's brotherhood was named after St. Charles Lwanga, one of the Ugandan martyrs.

Open Door USA acknowledges that numbers cannot tell the full story of Christian persecution nor can accurate numbers per country be submitted. But it reports that one out of six Africans experience high levels of persecution.

Mugarura's brotherhood was named after St. Charles Lwanga, one of the Ugandan martyrs, who, in 1886, was burned to death for refusing to submit to the homosexual demands of Mwanga, the ruler at the time, and for his belief in God.

"He was a true servant of God," said Br. Charles Dominic Kagoye, spokesman for the Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga, in remembering, Fr. Norbert Emmanuel Mugarura.

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