Christianity in Ruwenzori Diocese has its strongest link firmly rooted in the early ruling dynasty of Toro Kingdom. By the 1890s the Western kingdoms of Uganda had come to terms in one way or another with British colonialism.

The acceptance of Christianity was an important means of adjusting to this new situation.

In Toro, Christianity which was prompted and promoted by the local leadership and in particular King Kasagama, while attempting to recreate the kingdom of his father that he had been deprived of and forced into exile.

Church History

The history of the Diocese of Ruwenzori cannot be complete without the political one, at that time the kingdom reign, because the two are synonymous.

Toro was once a province of the great Bunyoro-Kitara Empire. Around 1822 (19th Century) Prince Kabayo Olimi 1, son of then King Kyebambe Nyamuturukura III of Bunyoro rebelled against his father, on advice from Batoro who were tired of the great journey to Bunyoro where they had to pay homage and present taxes and gifts to the King. Toro Kingdom was born especially after King Nyamutukura did not pursue or fight to regain this territory because he loved his Prince Kaboyo very much and did not want to harm him(his story is almost similar to that of David and his rebellious son, Absolom in the Bible-though in the later case the son was killed against his father’s wish).

King Kaboyo Olimi 1 ruled for 38 peaceful years and died in 1860 and was succeeded by his son, Kazaana Duhaga whose rule was cut short after four years through assassination and take over by his borther, Nyaika.

After the death of Kaboyo Olimi I, Toro’s stability was waned as Bunyoro-Kitara, then under King Kabalega, resumed attacks, raids and wars to recapture the lost land. Treachery, deceit and cunning plans were used to substitute failed war plans, making Toro an uncertain and troubled kingdom. Nyaika died instantly and was replaced by his brother Prince Mukarusa. Bunyoro attached and captured Mukarusa and killed him in Bunyoro after a tip off to his hiding place in the mountains. Prince Mukabirere succeeded his brother but was also unknowingly lured by King Kabalega who captured and exiled him to Busoga where he died.

Mukabirere was succeeded by his brother King Kasagama in 1891, who, having been exiled in Buganda had come into contact with Missionaries through his guardian and Uncle, Byakuyamba. His reign was on and off due to conflicts with Bunyoro Kingdom and the British.

Christianity springs

During one such bout of peace, King Kasagama requested the Church Council at Mengo to send him catechists. This is after he had tried, with the possible means to introduce his new found faith to his subjects but realized that he needed help.
The Church Council consented and Marko Luyimbazi, Petero Nsubuga, Tito Wakibinga and Nuwa Nakiwafu were sent to Toro in 1894 and this was the beginning of the Christian faith. These were later joined by Apollo Kivebulaya and Shedrak Zabunamakwata in 1895.
Kivebulaya later used his knowledge of the area to expand Christianity to Boga – Zaire through King Tabaro assisted by Shedrak. The catechists spent most of their times in the Kings and chiefs households because of the number of people therein.