Pilgrims Stopped at the Gates as Namugongo Catholic shrine reaches capacity

Saturday, June 3, 2023
Security officer standing inside gate | Photo / NTV
2 Min Read

For many Catholics in Uganda, the annual pilgrimage to the Namugongo Catholic shrine is the highlight of their year. The shrine is a sacred site where many Christians were martyred for their faith, and it serves as a place of remembrance, prayer, and renewal for the faithful.

But this year, the pilgrimage was marred by a problem that has been brewing for some time: surging numbers and limited capacity. As the shrine reached its maximum capacity, many pilgrims were turned away and denied entry.

The Shrine’s response to the situation was to urge the pilgrims to disperse and return to their homes. The authorities, on the other hand, had beefed up security, with more police officers being deployed to the Shrine. The situation remained tense, with pilgrims refusing to leave the area.

While the exact number of pilgrims who were denied entry is unknown, there are many accounts from those who traveled from far and wide, only to be turned away at the gate. Some slept on the streets, while others tried to find makeshift accommodations in nearby towns.

According to church officials, the situation was unfortunate but necessary for safety reasons. The Namugongo Catholic shrine has a maximum capacity of over 1million people, and exceeding that number can have serious safety implications.

Regardless of the solution chosen, it is clear that this problem needs to be addressed in order to ensure the safety and well-being of all pilgrims. The Namugongo Catholic shrine holds immense importance for Catholics in Uganda and beyond, and it is crucial that it remains accessible to all who wish to visit.

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