Τρίτη, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy & Pan-African Parliament



Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi

5th Ordinary Session of the Fourth Parliament, in PAP Headquarters in Midrand, South Africa.October 2017

PRESIDENT OF THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT H.E HON ROGER NKODO DANG RECEIVES FOR AN OFFICIAL MEETING HIS H.E ARCHBISHOP IOANNIS OF ZAMBIA AND MALAWI

His H.E. Archbishop Ioannis of Zambia and Malawi in his capacity as liaison between the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy for the past 24 years, has sought to contribute towards consolidation of positions, views and policies and the interpretation of social affairs, which have as their starting point, promotion of mutual understanding and peace through inter-religious dialogue and positive determination of relations between politics and religions and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP is an instituation who includes 53 countrie of the African continent), met with the President of the Pan-African Parliament, in the framework of the 5th Regular Assembly of the 4th Session of the Parliament.




H.E. Archbishop Ioannis conveyed the greetings of His Beatitude, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodore II, for the benefit of the Assembly's work, as well as the warm greetings of the President of the General Assembly of the Hellenic Federation of Sergey Popov (Member of the Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia) and the Secretary-General Dr. Andreas
Michailidis (Member of the Greek Parliament).
The two officials discussed various issues including.
H.E. Archbishop Ioannis subsequently informed the President of the results and the decisions of the annual General Assembly of the IAO held in Rome at the premises of the Italian Parliament and H.E. Archbishop Ioannis presented a letter of invitation, from Secretary General of the IAO, for his participation, both at the World Parliamentary Conference, to be held on 26-27 March 2018, Lebanese Parliament, on a subject that will refer to the interparliamentary dialogue between Christians and Muslims and the need to protect Christians in the wider Middle East region, as well as for the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the IAO, to be held in Athens.



Also, H.E. invited the President of the Pan-African Parliament, H.E Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang to the meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, on the premises of Parliament, under the auspices of H.E Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. Theodoros II,with the participation of members of the IAO and PAP.
The subject of the meeting's debates will be the dialogue of cultures, the role of monotheistic religions in the fight against terrorism and peaceful co-existence in Africa, emphasizing the need for reconciliation, mutual understanding and cooperation for peace and the protection of the weak among the great monotheistic religions.
The decision to open a permanent dialogue between cultures ,the engagement revolved around igniting interreligious dialogue in Africa as a means to promote peace, harmony and security,was taken at an earlier meeting between His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.Theodore II and the President of the Pan-African Parliament. H.E Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang.


See also

The Orthodox African Church (Patriarchate of Alexandria) denounces the exploitation of Africa by contemporary colonialists
Reconciliation On Social Justice: The Consequences of Low Aim
Tales from Dystopia XXI: Capitalism and alcoholism (a voice from South Africa)

Grace and “the Inverted Pyramid”  


Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa (& the Decolonization of Africa)
African Initiated Churches in Search of Orthodoxy...
How “White” is the Orthodox Church?
Ancient Christian faith (Orthodox Church) in Africa
LIVE, BEYOND THE LIMITS!

Eight principal areas of convergence between African spirituality and Ancient Christianity  

 
The Orthodox Church in Zambia & Malawi
Orthodox Zambia
Orthodox Malawi


Κυριακή, 29 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Orthodoxy of the Heart - Father Seraphim Rose and the Orthodox Christians of Africa


by Hieromonk Damascene
From Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works (Platina, CA: St. Herman Press), Chapter 86, pp. 825-833.

Orthodoxinfo

And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. —I John 4:21


As Fr. Seraphim developed into a man of the heart, the thrust of his mission developed accordingly. When he had begun his missionary work, he had placed emphasis on upholding true Orthodoxy, on taking a stand against modernism, renovationism, ecumenism. This may have been fine at a beginning stage. As he himself said, “The more one finds out about Christian doctrine and practice, the more one discovers how many ‘mistakes’ one has been making up to now, and one’s natural desire is to be ‘correct.’ [1] But all this is only on the external level, as Fr. Seraphim came to see more clearly as the years went by. He never changed his basic, original philosophy; he was no closer to becoming an ecumenist, modernist, or a New Calendarist at the end of his life than he had been when he had first started printing The Orthodox Word. It was just that now, especially after witnessing the bitter fruits of “correctness disease” in the Church, he saw that there was something much more essential that he should be preaching in these last times, when “the love of many grows cold.”*

Above all, Fr. Seraphim became a preacher of Orthodoxy of the heart. Besides the resurrection of Holy Russia (of which more will be said later), this was his main theme during the last part of his life.

“True Christianity,” he stated in a lecture, “does not mean just having the right opinions about Christianity—this is not enough to save one’s soul. St. Tikhon (of Zadonsk) says: ‘If someone should say that true faith is the correct holding and confession of correct dogmas, he would be telling the truth, for a believer absolutely needs the Orthodox holding and confession of dogmas. But this knowledge and confession by itself does not make a man a faithful and true Christian. The keeping and confession of Orthodox dogmas is always to be found in true faith in Christ, but the true faith of Christ is not always to be found in the confession of Orthodoxy.... The knowledge of correct dogmas is in the mind, and it is often fruitless, arrogant, and proud.... The true faith in Christ is in the heart, and it is fruitful, humble, patient, loving, merciful, compassionate, hungering and thirsting for righteousness; it withdraws from worldly lusts and clings to God alone, strives and seeks always for what is heavenly and eternal, struggles against every sin, and constantly seeks and begs help from God for this.’ And he then quotes Blessed Augustine, who teaches: ‘The faith of a Christian is with love; faith without love is that of the devil.’ [2] St. James in his Epistle tells us that the demons also believe and tremble (James 2:19).

“St. Tikhon, therefore, gives us a start in understanding what Orthodoxy is: it is something first of all of the heart, not just the mind, something living and warm, not abstract and cold, something that is learned and practiced in life, not just in school.” [3]

To give his fellow Orthodox a deeper sense of heartfelt Christianity, Fr. Seraphim brought up the example of Gospel Outreach, the Protestant group out of which Mary, Solomonia, and others had come. While rejecting Protestant errors just as he had ever done, he was able to go beyond the perspective of his early period of negation, to see beneath the externals to the heart of these people’s strivings.

“These Protestants,” he said, “have a simple and warm Christian faith without much of the sectarian narrowness that characterizes many Protestant groups. They don’t believe, like some Protestants, that they are ‘saved’ and don’t need to do any more; they believe in the idea of spiritual struggle and training the soul. They force themselves to forgive each other and not to hold grudges. They take in bums and hippies off the streets and have a special farm for rehabilitating them and teaching them a sense of responsibility. In other words, they take Christianity seriously as the most important thing in life; it’s not the fullness of Christianity that we Orthodox have, but it’s good as far as it goes, and these people are warm, loving people who obviously love Christ. In this way they are an example of what we should be, only more so....

“Some of our Orthodox young people are converted to groups like this, but it works the other way around also—some of these Protestants are being converted to Orthodoxy. And why not? If we have the true Christianity, there should be something in our midst that someone who sincerely loves the truth will see and want. We’ve baptized several people from this Protestant group in our monastery; they are drawn to Orthodoxy by the grace and the sacraments whose presence they feel in Orthodoxy, but which are absent in their group. And once they become Orthodox, they find their Protestant experience, which seemed so real to them at the time, to be quite shallow and superficial. Their leaders give very practical teachings based on the Gospel, but after a while the teachings are exhausted and they repeat themselves. Coming to Orthodoxy, these converts find a wealth of teaching that is inexhaustible and leads them into a depth of Christian experience that is totally beyond even the best of non-Orthodox Christians. We who are already Orthodox have this treasure and this depth right in front of us, and we must use it more fully than we usually do.”[4]



 
Pioneers of the Orthodox Church in Uganda (see here)

Fr. Seraphim spoke along similar lines about those who were converting to Orthodoxy in Africa. Since the 1960s he had followed the Orthodox mission in Africa with great interest, writing and publishing articles about African converts to Orthodoxy, corresponding with them, and sending them clothes, supplies, Bibles, and The Orthodox Word.[5] He was deeply moved by the letters he received from Africa, seeing in them a simple piety and a warm love for Jesus Christ and the Church that he felt could be instructive to over-complicated people of the West. In one talk he said: “During the last

fifty years there has been a tremendous movement of conversion of people to Orthodoxy in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and now the Congo and other countries. They often write to us at The Orthodox Word the simplest kind of letters, very evangelical, about rejoicing in the Lord. They are very, very pious and faithful to Orthodoxy. It is just such simple-hearted people that Christ wants, and it is such people who are coming into the Orthodox Church now.”[6]

In another talk Fr. Seraphim spoke more about some of the letters he received: “They are very touching letters from African boys who are converted to Orthodoxy. They have the utmost respect for their bishop. They go to seminary. It is obvious that a very Orthodox feeling is being given to these people in Africa. If simple people are preached the Orthodox Gospel, they respond now in the same way that they have always responded in the past. The problem is, rather, with complicated people.”[7]


In preaching inward Orthodoxy of the heart, Fr. Seraphim warned against being calculating and critical. He identified this as the temptation of following “external wisdom.” “Sometimes,” he said, “one’s zeal for ‘Orthodoxy’ (in quotes) can be so excessive that it produces a situation similar to that which caused an old Russian woman** to remark about an enthusiastic American convert: ‘Well, he’s certainly Orthodox, all right—but is he a Christian?’ To be ‘Orthodox but not Christian’ is a state that has a particular name in Christian language: it means to be a pharisee, to be so bogged down in the letter of the Church’s laws that one loses the spirit that gives them life, the spirit of true Christianity.”[8]

Fr. Seraphim pointed out how we can get carried away with “correctness” even in small ways: “We can like well-done Byzantine icons (which is a good thing), but we go too far if we are disdainful of the more modern-style icons which are still in many of our churches. The same goes for church singing, architecture, the following of correct rules of fasting, of kneeling in church, etc....[9]

“If you get all excited about having the right kind of icons and begin saying, ‘There’s an icon of the wrong style in our church!’ you have to be very careful, because you’re placing all your emphasis on something external. In fact, if there is a church with nothing but good-style icons, I’m suspicious of it, because maybe [the people there] are just following the fashion. There is a case (one of many) in which a church had old, original Russian icons—some good and some in rather poor taste, painted in a relatively new style—and a zealous person took them all out and put in new, paper icon prints in perfect Byzantine style. And what was the result? The people there lost contact with tradition, with the people who gave them Orthodoxy. They removed the original icons which believers had prayed before for centuries.”[10]

Fr. Herman recalls how, when he and Fr. Seraphim were first honoring the memory of Fr. Gerasim in The Orthodox Word in the early 1970s, he had expressed his reservations to his co-laborer. “How can we present Fr. Gerasim as a modern giant of traditional Orthodoxy,” Fr. Herman asked, “when he had those nineteenth-century Western-style icons in his church?”

“Those very icons,” Fr. Seraphim replied, ”prove that he was in the tradition, because he accepted simply and lovingly what was handed down to him from his righteous fathers in the Faith.”

Fr. Seraphim also observed how we can be following “external wisdom” when we get caught up in exalted ideas: “It is the fashion now to learn about the Jesus Prayer, to read the Philokalia, to go ‘back to the Fathers.’ These kinds of things also will not save us—they are external. They may be helpful if they are used rightly, but if they become your passion, the first thing you are after, then they become externals which lead not to Christ, but to Antichrist.”[11]


Fr. Seraphim was one with the nineteenth-century prophet St. Ignatius Brianchaninov in teaching that only those who feel the Kingdom of God in their own hearts will be able to recognize the true nature of Antichrist when he comes. By contrast, Fr. Seraphim stated that “the ‘super-Orthodox’ of today can very easily become the prey of Antichrist.” In a few places he told how this might happen: “Vladimir Soloviev, in his ‘Short Story of Antichrist,’ ingeniously suggests that Antichrist, in order to attract Orthodox conservatives, will open a museum of all Christian antiquities. Perhaps the very images of Antichrist himself (Apoc. 13:14) will be in good Byzantine style—this should be a sobering thought for us.

“The Antichrist must be understood as a spiritual phenomenon. Why will everyone in the world want to bow down to him? Obviously, it is because there is something in him which responds to something in us—that something being a lack of Christ in us. If we will bow down to him (God forbid that we do so!), it will be because we will feel an attraction to some kind of external thing, which might even look like Christianity, since ‘Antichrist’ means the one who is ‘in place of Christ’ or looks like Christ.”[12]

In particular, Fr. Seraphim saw in the unwarranted “Orthodox” attack on Blessed Augustine a sign of the externalism that will lead to acceptance of Antichrist. Augustine’s “overly logical” doctrines, of which Fr. Seraphim himself said he was “no great admirer,” were only the external, intellectual aspect of a man whose heart was clearly Orthodox. As Fr. Seraphim wrote in a letter, “The one main lovable and Orthodox thing about him is his Orthodox feeling, piety, love for Christ, which comes out so strongly in his non-dogmatic works like his Confessions (the Russian Fathers also love the Soliloquies). To destroy Augustine, as today’s critics are trying to do, is to help to destroy also this piety and love for Christ.... I myself fear the cold hearts of the ‘intellectually correct’ much more than any errors you might find in Augustine. I sense in these cold hearts a preparation for the work of Antichrist (whose imitation of Christ must also extend to ‘correct theology’!); I feel in Augustine the love of Christ.”[13]

Over and over again, Fr. Seraphim counseled his fellow Orthodox Christians to have love and compassion for the suffering. “There are the daily opportunities for expressing Christian love,” he said: “giving alms, visiting the sick, helping those in need.”

Frequently Fr. Seraphim commented on the danger of making Orthodoxy into a “style” while at the same time overlooking one’s most basic duties as a Christian. In one talk he said: “Do we perhaps boast that we keep the fasts and the Church calendar, have ‘good icons’ and ‘congregational singing,’ that we give to the poor and perhaps tithe to the Church? Do we delight in exalted Patristic teachings and theological discussions without having in our hearts the simplicity of Christ and true compassion for the suffering?—then ours is a ‘spirituality with comfort,’ and we will not have the spiritual fruits that will be exhibited by those without all these ‘comforts’ who deeply suffer and struggle for Christ.”[14]

In 1979, when speaking about Archbishop Andrew (formerly Fr. Adrian) of New Diveyevo, who had reposed the year before, Fr. Seraphim said: “He hated the ‘hothouse’ Christianity of those who ‘enjoy’ being Orthodox but don’t live a life of struggling and deepening their Christianity. We converts can easily fall for this ‘hothouse’ Orthodoxy, too. We can live close to a church, have English services, a good priest, go frequently to church and receive the Sacraments, be in the ‘correct’ jurisdiction—and still be cold, unfeeling, arrogant and proud, as St. Tikhon of Zadonsk has said.”

In the same talk, Fr. Seraphim spoke on how one can try to be “spiritual” while neglecting basic Christian love: “Our spiritual life is not something bookish or that follows formulas. Everything we learn has to become part of our life and something natural to us. We can be reading about hesychasm and the Jesus Prayer, for example, and begin to say it ourselves—and still be blind to our own passions and unresponsive to a person in need right in front of us, not seeing that this is a test of our Christianity that comes at a more basic level than saying the Jesus Prayer.”[15]

“Wherever you are in your spiritual life,” Fr. Seraphim counseled, “you are to begin right there to take part in the life of the Church, to offer struggles to God, to love each other, to become aware of the people around you, to see that you are responsible for them, for being at least kind and cheerful, trying to do good deeds. You are to be aware of the unhappiness of others, to cheer them up and help them out. All of these things promote the life of grace in the Church.”[16]

Such was Fr. Seraphim’s counsel on showing Christian love through outward actions—counsel which, as we have seen, he first put into practice himself. But he also spoke about giving love to others in a way that was not shown outwardly, that is, through praying for them. Here again his counsel was born out of his own experience, as he prayed daily for people in the silence of his heart and the solitude of his cell. He prayed not only for those close to him, but also for people throughout the world whom he knew about, especially those he knew were suffering.

In 1981, when an Orthodox priest asked Fr. Seraphim about the role of prayer in the life of a monk, Fr. Seraphim emphasized the monk’s duty to pray for others, and ultimately for the whole world. “A monk,” he said, “is free to pray more than the ordinary layman is able to, because the whole monastic life is centered around the Church services, which we have in the morning, in the evening, and at various other times of the day. Therefore, he prays with the cycle of the Church’s services. And a special part of his prayer is the prayer, both in church and in his own cell, for others. In the world, people are not usually so free to devote time to praying for others; but the monastic has the opportunity to devote himself to this kind of prayer. In his prayer in the desert, away from the ways of the world, he can call to mind those who are in various conditions of suffering, sorrows, or struggles. Often those people in the world have no one to have sympathy on them in their struggles. The monastic is one who can do this. We receive mail from people all over the world telling about their needs and their struggles, and therefore we take this obligation upon ourselves of praying for them, asking God’s mercy upon all those who are in conditions of need throughout the world.”[17]

In the Orthodox understanding of monastic life, a monk on leaving the world does not at all cease having love and concern for the world, nor does he cease to labor for it. His love and his labor for the world are expressed in his prayer for it. He actually helps to sustain the world through his prayers.

Fr. Seraphim took seriously his monastic duty of praying for the world. With this in mind, he made it a point to keep abreast with the plight of suffering people all over the world, especially those who live under Communist and totalitarian Muslim regimes. In his talk at the 1979 St. Herman Pilgrimage, “Orthodox Christians Facing the 1980s,” he tried to make people aware of the tremendous suffering that was occurring in the world around them, from the drowning of

thousands of Southeast Asian “boat people” to the extermination of one-quarter of the population of Cambodia under the Communist dictator Pol Pot. During the same lecture he read a moving letter which he had received from an Orthodox Christian in Degeya, Uganda, where the people had just come out from under the regime of the Muslim dictator Idi Amin.*** As the letter made clear, Idi Amin’s regime had been ruthlessly persecuting Christians, killing priests and believers, closing or bombing their churches, and changing Sunday services to Friday (the Muslim holy day). Fr. Seraphim did not neglect to draw a comparison between this Muslim dictatorship and Communist totalitarianism. “It’s frightful,” he remarked. “There are pictures of Idi Amin’s torture chambers, just like under Communism. But Idi Amin did this in his own name in order to make Islam the religion of Uganda.”****
 

Even though monastics have a greater responsibility to pray for the world because of their greater opportunity, Fr. Seraphim made clear that this duty is common to all Christians. In his talks he counseled monastics and laypeople alike to go throughout the world in their minds, praying for those who were struggling and suffering. He especially asked them to pray for Christians who were being persecuted for their faith.

There can be no doubt that Fr. Seraphim’s preaching of Orthodoxy of the heart came out of a deepening of his prayer life, and out of a corresponding deepening of what he called “the essential experience of pain of heart.”[18] Elder Paisios, a revered spiritual father who reposed recently on Mount Athos, has well described the experience of prayer with pain for other people which Fr. Seraphim entered into, and to which he called others. “Prayer which is not from the heart,” said Elder Paisios, “but is made only by the mind, doesn’t go any further. To pray with the heart, we must hurt. Just as when we hit our hand or some other part of our body our nous (spirit) is gathered to the point we are hurting, so also for the nous to gather in the heart, the heart must hurt.

“We should make the other’s pain our own! We must love the other, must hurt for him, so that we can pray for him. We must come out, little by little, from our own self and begin to love, to hurt for other people as well, for our family first and then for the large family of Adam, of God.”[19]

Fr. Seraphim’s love for others, expressed in his outward deeds and in his inward prayer, was both the means and the evidence of his going deeper into the Orthodox Christian Faith. As our Lord Jesus Christ has said, By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples: if ye have love one to another (John 13:35). Fr. Seraphim had truly been granted the prayer he had brought before the Mother of God in 1961, when he had asked her to let him enter “the heart of hearts” of the saving Faith of Christ. At the heart of true Christianity, he had found that on which hang all the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:40): love for God, and love for one’s neighbor. It was the first and second commandment of the incarnate God—of Him Who made of Love a law.

Endnotes

The following abbreviations have been used in these Notes:

ER—Eugene Rose

FSR—Fr. Seraphim Rose

LER—Letter of Eugene Rose

LFSR—Letter of Fr. Seraphim Rose

JER—Philosophical Journal of Eugene Rose, 1960-62

OW—The Orthodox Word

SHB—St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, California

CSHB—Chronicle of the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, written by Eugene/Fr. Seraphim Rose

Letter, Journal and Chronicle dates are according to the civil calendar, except where a Church feast day is indicated, in which case both the Church (Julian or “Old” Calendar) and civil (Gregorian or “New” Calendar) dates are given.

Most of the letters of Fr. Seraphim cited in this book were preserved in carbon copy by Fr. Seraphim himself; some were sent by their recipients to the author for publication in this book. In some of the references to letters the names of the recipients have been abbreviated, and in others the names have been omitted altogether in order to protect the privacy of living persons.

The book Letters from Fr. Seraphim by Fr. Alexey Young includes many letters that were not preserved by Fr. Seraphim in carbon copy. When we have quoted these letters directly from this book, references to the book have been given.

* Cf. Matthew 24:12.

** This Russian woman was Fr. Herman’s mother, Nina.

*** Fr. Seraphim later printed this letter in The Orthodox Word, no. 87 (1979), pp. 146, 177. At the end of the letter the address of the parish in Degeya, Uganda was printed, along with indications of how Orthodox Christians in the West could help.

**** In the 1990s and up to today, the greatest persecution of Christians in Africa has been occurring under the totalitarian Muslim government of Sudan. For current information, see The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.

1. From Fr. Seraphim’s lecture “Orthodoxy in the USA,” given at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, New York, on Dec. 12/25, 1979 (see ch. 89 below). Text published in OW, no. 94 (1980), p. 226.

2. Translated by Fr. Seraphim from St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Ob Istinnom Khristianstve (On True Christianity), ch. 287, in Tvoreniya izhe vo svyatikh ottsa nashego Tikhona Zadonskago (The Works of our father among the saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk) (St. Petersburg, 1912), p. 469 (in Russian).

3. FSR, “Orthodoxy in the USA,” OW, no. 94 (1980), pp. 216-17.

4. Ibid., pp. 218-19.

5. See [ER], “The African Greek Orthodox Church,” OW, no. 21 (1968), pp. 163-180; and Fr. Theodorous Nankyama, “Missionary Correspondence: A Missionary Tour to Fort-Portal, Toro District, Uganda,” OW, no. 26 (1969), pp. 105-9.

6. FSR, “Contemporary Signs of the End of the World,” a talk given at the University of California, Santa Cruz, May 14, 1981.

7. FSR, “Watching for the Signs of the Times,” a talk given at the 1979 Women’s Conference, Redding, California, Jan. 21, 1979.

8. FSR, “Orthodoxy in the USA,” p. 227.

9. Ibid., p. 228.

10. FSR, “Raising the Mind, Warming the Heart,” p. 30.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. LFSR to Fr. Michael, June 26, 1981.

14. “Orthodox Christians Facing the 1980s,” a talk given at the 1979 St. Herman Pilgrimage. In “St. Herman Summer Pilgrimage, 1979,” p. 63.

15. FSR, “Orthodoxy in the USA,” OW, no. 94 (1980), pp. 230, 225-26.

16. Question-and-answer session following Fr. Seraphim’s talk, “Living the Orthodox Worldview,” St. Herman Summer Pilgrimage, 1982.

17. Transcribed from a radio interview of Fr. Seraphim by Fr. John Ocaña, Nov. 4, 1981. Published in OW, no. 220 (2001), pp. 226-27.

18. [FSR], “The Holy Fathers, III,” p. 239.

19. Athanasios Rakovalis, Talks with Father Paisios (Thessalonica, 2000), pp. 123-24.

See also


A Lover of Truth: In Memory of fr. Seraphim Rose († September 2, 1982)
The Passion of Jesus Christ and the Passions of Africa...
The Kingdom of Heaven, where racial discrimination has no place
How “White” is the Orthodox Church?
Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa (& the Decolonization of Africa)
The Church as the Liberated Zone: "All we Christians are terrorists..." (and 2 videos, from Tanzania, Maasai, & DRC)
"THE WAY" - An Introduction to the Orthodox Faith
Theosis (deification): The True Purpose of Human Life
LIVE, BEYOND THE LIMITS!

in Search of Orthodoxy
African Americans and Orthodoxy
Native Americans and Orthodoxy



Πέμπτη, 26 Οκτωβρίου 2017

From the Orthodox Church of Burundi, Zambia & Malawi: The Life of St. Demetrios the Great Martyr & Myrrh-flowing (October 26)



"Saint Dimitrios was a young man whose parents taught him to love God. He was a soldier who wanted to spread the message of God's love to non-Christians, but it was forbidden in his time. As a result, he was arrested, tortured and eventually killed. Today, the relics of this humble martyr are in Τhessaloniki, Northern Greece, the city where he worked to protect people. He changed the lives of many people by showing them the way to God."

Pere Basile Bonane, from the Orthodox Christian parish of Carama Dediee, Burundi (here & here)

Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi

""AGHIOS DEMETRIOS, the Great Martyr and Myrovletes (myrrh-emitting), was born in Thessalonica in 260 A.D. His parents were illustrious people and along with the transitory glory which Demetrios had from his family, he was adorned with imperishable virtues, with prudence, with sweetness, with humility, with justice, and with every noble comeliness of the soul. All these were like precious stones which shone on the crown which he wore, and this crown was the faith in Christ."

"In those days, there reigned in Rome Diocletian, and he had appointed as caesar in the parts of Macedonia and the East a hard-hearted and bloodthirsty general who was called Maximian, a beast in human form as were all those military rulers (polemarchs) who then ruled the world with the sword: Diocletian, Maxentius, Maximian, Galerius, Licinius -- hard headed, firce-faced, strong-jawed, grim-mouthed, with short thick necks like barrels, ruthless, and therrifying. He in turn appointed Demetrios ruler of Thessalonica and all Thesaalia. When Maximian returned from a certain war, he gathered the officers of Thessalonica in order to offer sacrifice to the idols. Then Demetrios revealed that he was a Christian, and did not accept hewn stones as gods.

Maximian went into a rage and ordered that he be tried and imprisoned in a bath. And all the while he was imprisoned, the populace ran with mourning to hear Demetrios teach the people of Christ. A young lad, Nestor, also went every day and heard his teaching."

"During those days, many brave men fought in the stadium and Maximian rejoiced at these spectacles. He even had a great honor a certain henchman Lyaeus, a beastly man, brass-knuckled, an idolator and blasphemer, brought from some barbarous nation. Nestor, seeing that this Lyaeus had defeated all the boasted that he had the strength of Ares, the pagan god of war, and that no native dared wrestle with him, went to the prison and besought St. Demetrios to bless him to defeat and put to shame Lyaeus and Maximian and their religion.
"Aghios Demetrios prayed and made the sign of the Cross over him, and immediately Nestor ran to the stadium and wrestled with that fierce giant, and he threw him down, and slew him. Then Maximian became beside himself with rage and learning that Nestor was a Christian and that St. Demetrios had blessed him, he ordered the soldiers to have them put to death."


"And they going to the bath lanced St. Demetrios (note holy icon above top of the page) with their spears, and thus he received the eternal crown on the 26th of October, 296 A.D., at the age of thirty-six. It is written that when he saw the soldeirs thrusting their spears at him, he raised high his arm and they lanced him in the side, so that he might be deemed worthy to receive the lancing which Christ received in His side, and there ran blood and water from the wound. Nestor was beheaded the next day (holy Martyr Nestor of Thessalonica is commemorated in the holy Orthodox Church on the 27th of October) outside the wall at the place of the Golden Gate with his own sword."
 

"The holy Christians took the holy remains and buried them side by side, and from the grave of St. Demetrios there came forth holy myrrh which cured many diseases. For this reason he is called Myrovletes. Over his holy grave and the place of his holy martyrdom there was built a church in the form of a basilica
which stands to this day. In 1143 the Emperor Manuel Comnenos sent from Constantinople and brought the holy icon of the Saint which was at his tomb and put in the Monastery of Pantocrator, whose church was build by the Comneni and is called today Zeirek."
 

This then is the holy martyrdom of Aghios Demetrios the Great Martyr and Myrrh-bearer, who loved our Savior above all things of this life - - pleasures, wealth, honors - - and longed to be dissolved that he might be found with Him in the celestial Kingdom, through whose prayers may we also be deemed worthy of like fate. Amen.

Apolytikion (Closing Hymn). Tone 3. Your confession.

The whole world has found you as a mighty champion in dangers, O victor, who rout the nations. Therefore as you destroyed the pride of Lyaios in the stadium by giving Nestor courage, holy great Martyr Demetrios, implore Christ God to grant us his great mercy.

*****

"Under the blessing of our archeveque Innocentios Byakatonda today the 26/10/2017 we had concélébrée the feast of Saint Dimitri in the parish of carama dediee to this saint Dimitri."

Pere Basile Bonane, from the Orthodox Christian parish of Carama Dediee, Burundi (here & here)






See also

Saint Demetrios the Great Martyr of Thessaloniki

Celebrating St. Demetrius Feast Day in Africa

Δευτέρα, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Idi Amin Dada, the dictator of Uganda


From Wikipedia
 
Idi Amin -Archives New Zealand AAWV 23583, KIRK1, 5(B), R23930288.jpg
Amin pictured in 1973

3rd President of Uganda
In office
25 January 1971 – 11 April 1979
Vice President Mustafa Adrisi
Preceded by Milton Obote
Succeeded by Yusufu Lule
Personal details
Born Idi Dada c. 1923–1928 Koboko, Uganda Protectorate
Died 16 August 2003 (aged 74–80) Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Nationality Ugandan
Spouse(s)
  • Malyamu (divorced)
  • Kay (divorced)
  • Nora (divorced)
  • Madina (widow)
  • Sarah Kyolaba (widow)
Children 43 (estimate)[1]
Military service
Allegiance
Service/branch
Rank
Unit King's African Rifles (1946–62)
Commands Commander-in-Chief of the Ugandan armed forces
Battles/wars
Idi Amin Dada (/ˈdi ɑːˈmn/; c. 1923–28 – 16 August 2003) was a Ugandan political leader and military officer who was the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979.
Amin was born in either Koboko or Kampala to a Kakwa father and Lugbara mother. In 1946 he joined the King's African Rifles (KAR) of the British Colonial Army. Initially a cook, he rose to the position of lieutenant, taking part in British actions against Somali rebels in the Shifta War and then the Mau Mau rebels in Kenya. Following Uganda's independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, Amin remained in the armed forces, rising to the position of major and being appointed Commander of the Army in 1965. Aware that Ugandan President Milton Obote was planning on arresting him for misappropriating army funds, Amin launched a 1971 military coup and declared himself President.
During his years in power, Amin shifted from being a pro-western ruler, enjoying considerable Israeli support to being backed by Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko, the Soviet Union, and East Germany.[3][4][5] In 1975, Amin became the chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), a Pan-Africanist group designed to promote solidarity among African states.[6] During the 1977–1979 period, Uganda was a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.[7] Amin did, however, have the support of the US Central Intelligence Agency, which helped deliver bombs and other military equipment to Amin's army and took part in military operations with Amin's forces in Uganda.[8] In 1977, when Britain broke diplomatic relations with Uganda, Amin declared he had defeated the British and added "CBE", for "Conqueror of the British Empire", to his title. Radio Uganda then announced his entire title: "His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Alhaji Dr. Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, CBE".[9]
Dissent within Uganda and Amin's attempt to annex the Kagera Region of Tanzania in 1978 led to the Uganda–Tanzania War and the demise of his eight-year regime. Amin then went into exile, first in Libya and then in Saudi Arabia, where he lived until his death on 16 August 2003. Amin's rule was characterized by rampant human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000[10] to 500,000.[9]

Biography 

Early life

Amin did not write an autobiography, and he did not authorize an official written account of his life. So, there are discrepancies regarding when and where he was born. Most biographical sources claim that he was born in either Koboko or Kampala around 1925.[a] Other unconfirmed sources state Amin's year of birth from as early as 1923 to as late as 1928. Amin's son Hussein has stated that his father was born in Kampala in 1928.[13]
According to Fred Guweddeko, a researcher at Makerere University, Amin was the son of Andreas Nyabire (1889–1976). Nyabire, a member of the Kakwa ethnic group, converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam in 1910 and changed his name to Amin Dada. He named his first-born son after himself. Abandoned by his father at a young age, Idi Amin grew up with his mother's family in a rural farming town in north-western Uganda. Guweddeko states that Amin's mother was Assa Aatte (1904–1970), an ethnic Lugbara and a traditional herbalist who treated members of Buganda royalty, among others.[11]
Amin joined an Islamic school in Bombo in 1941. After a few years, he left school with only a fourth-grade English-language education, and did odd jobs before being recruited to the army by a British colonial army officer.[11]

Colonial British Army


Chronology of Amin's military promotions
United Kingdom King's African Rifles
1946 Joined the King's African Rifles
1947 Private
1952 Corporal
1953 Sergeant
1958 Sergeant major (acting as platoon commander)
1959 Effendi (warrant officer)
1961 Lieutenant (one of the first two Ugandan officers)
Uganda Uganda Army
1962 Captain
1963 Major
1964 Deputy Commander of the Army
1965 Colonel, Commander of the Army
1968 Major general
1971 Head of state
Chairman of the Defence Council
Commander-in-chief of the armed forces
Army Chief of Staff and Chief of Air Staff
1975 Field Marshal
Amin joined the King's African Rifles (KAR) of the British Colonial Army in 1946 as an assistant cook.[14] In later life, he falsely claimed he was forced to join the army during World War II and that he served in the Burma Campaign.[9][15][16] He was transferred to Kenya for infantry service as a private in 1947, and served in the 21st KAR infantry battalion in Gilgil, Kenya until 1949. That year, his unit was deployed to northern Kenya to fight against Somali rebels in the Shifta War. In 1952, his brigade was deployed against the Mau Mau rebels in Kenya. He was promoted to corporal the same year, then to sergeant in 1953.[11]
In 1959, Amin was made Afande (warrant officer), the highest rank possible for a black African in the colonial British Army of that time. Amin returned to Uganda the same year and, in 1961, he was promoted to lieutenant, becoming one of the first two Ugandans to become commissioned officers. He was assigned to quell the cattle rustling between Uganda's Karamojong and Kenya's Turkana nomads. In 1962, following Uganda's independence from the United Kingdom, Amin was promoted to captain and then, in 1963, to major. He was appointed Deputy Commander of the Army in 1964 and, the following year, to Commander of the Army.[11] In 1970, he was promoted to commander of all the armed forces.[17]
Amin was an athlete during his time in both the British and Ugandan army. At 193 cm (6 ft 4 in) tall and powerfully built, he was the Ugandan light heavyweight boxing champion from 1951 to 1960, as well as a swimmer. Amin was also a formidable rugby forward,[18][19] although one officer said of him: "Idi Amin is a splendid type and a good (rugby) player, but virtually bone from the neck up, and needs things explained in words of one letter".[19][20] In the 1950s, he played for Nile RFC.[21]
There is a frequently repeated urban myth[19][21] that he was selected as a replacement by the East Africa rugby union team for their 1955 match against the British Lions. Amin, however, does not appear on the team photograph or on the official team list.[22] Following conversations with a colleague in the British Army, Amin became a keen fan of Hayes Football Club – an affection that would remain for the rest of his life.[23]

Commander of the Army

In 1965, Prime Minister Milton Obote and Amin were implicated in a deal to smuggle ivory and gold into Uganda from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The deal, as later alleged by General Nicholas Olenga, an associate of the former Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba, was part of an arrangement to help troops opposed to the Congolese government trade ivory and gold for arms supplies secretly smuggled to them by Amin. In 1966, the Ugandan Parliament demanded an investigation. Obote imposed a new constitution abolishing the ceremonial presidency held by Kabaka (King) Mutesa II of Buganda, and declared himself executive president. He promoted Amin to colonel and army commander. Amin led an attack on the Kabaka's palace and forced Mutesa into exile to the United Kingdom, where he remained until his death in 1969.[24][25]
Amin began recruiting members of Kakwa, Lugbara, South Sudanese, and other ethnic groups from the West Nile area bordering South Sudan. The South Sudanese had been residents in Uganda since the early 20th century, having come from South Sudan to serve the colonial army. Many African ethnic groups in northern Uganda inhabit both Uganda and South Sudan; allegations persist that Amin's army consisted mainly of South Sudanese soldiers.[26]

Seizure of power 

Milton Obote, Uganda's second President, whom Amin overthrew in a coup d'état in 1971
 
Eventually a rift developed between Amin and Obote, exacerbated by the support Amin had built within the army by recruiting from the West Nile region, his involvement in operations to support the rebellion in southern Sudan and an attempt on Obote's life in 1969. In October 1970, Obote took control of the armed forces, reducing Amin from his months-old post of commander of all the armed forces to that of commander of the army.[17]
Having learned that Obote was planning to arrest him for misappropriating army funds, Amin seized power in a military coup on 25 January 1971, while Obote was attending a Commonwealth summit meeting in Singapore. Troops loyal to Amin sealed off Entebbe International Airport and took Kampala. Soldiers surrounded Obote's residence and blocked major roads. A broadcast on Radio Uganda accused Obote's government of corruption and preferential treatment of the Lango region. Cheering crowds were reported in the streets of Kampala after the radio broadcast.[27] Amin announced that he was a soldier, not a politician, and that the military government would remain only as a caretaker regime until new elections, which would be announced when the situation was normalised. He promised to release all political prisoners.[28]
Amin gave former King (Kabaka) of Buganda and President, Edward Mutesa (who had died in exile), a state funeral in April 1971, freed many political prisoners, and reiterated his promise to hold free and fair elections to return the country to democratic rule in the shortest period possible.[29]

Presidency

Establishment of military rule

On 2 February 1971, one week after the coup, Amin declared himself President of Uganda, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Army Chief of Staff, and Chief of Air Staff. He announced that he was suspending certain provisions of the Ugandan constitution, and soon instituted an Advisory Defence Council composed of military officers with himself as the chairman. Amin placed military tribunals above the system of civil law, appointed soldiers to top government posts and parastatal agencies, and informed the newly inducted civilian cabinet ministers that they would be subject to military discipline.[17][30]
Amin renamed the presidential lodge in Kampala from Government House to "The Command Post". He disbanded the General Service Unit (GSU), an intelligence agency created by the previous government, and replaced it with the State Research Bureau (SRB). SRB headquarters at the Kampala suburb of Nakasero became the scene of torture and executions over the next few years.[31] Other agencies used to persecute dissenters included the military police and the Public Safety Unit (PSU).[31]
Obote took refuge in Tanzania, having been offered sanctuary there by the Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere. Obote was soon joined by 20,000 Ugandan refugees fleeing Amin. The exiles attempted but failed to regain Uganda in 1972, through a poorly organised coup attempt.[32]

Persecution of ethnic and political groups

Amin retaliated against the attempted invasion by Ugandan exiles in 1972, by purging the army of Obote supporters, predominantly those from the Acholi and Lango ethnic groups.[33] In July 1971, Lango and Acholi soldiers were massacred in the Jinja and Mbarara barracks.[34] By early 1972, some 5,000 Acholi and Lango soldiers, and at least twice as many civilians, had disappeared.[35] The victims soon came to include members of other ethnic groups, religious leaders, journalists, artists, senior bureaucrats, judges, lawyers, students and intellectuals, criminal suspects, and foreign nationals. In this atmosphere of violence, many other people were killed for criminal motives or simply at will. Bodies were often dumped into the River Nile.[36]
The killings, motivated by ethnic, political, and financial factors, continued throughout Amin's eight years in control.[35] The exact number of people killed is unknown. The International Commission of Jurists estimated the death toll at no fewer than 80,000 and more likely around 300,000. An estimate compiled by exile organizations with the help of Amnesty International puts the number killed at 500,000.[9]
Among the most prominent people killed were Benedicto Kiwanuka, a former prime minister and chief justice; Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop; Joseph Mubiru, the former governor of the central bank of Uganda; Frank Kalimuzo, the vice chancellor of Makerere University; Byron Kawadwa, a prominent playwright; and two of Amin's own cabinet ministers, Erinayo Wilson Oryema and Charles Oboth Ofumbi.[37]
Amin recruited his followers from his own ethnic group, the Kakwas, along with South Sudanese. By 1977, these three groups formed 60 percent of the 22 top generals and 75 percent of the cabinet. Similarly, Muslims formed 80 percent and 87.5 percent of these groups even though they were only 5 percent of the population. This helps explain why Amin survived eight attempted coups.[38] The army grew from 10,000 to 25,000 by 1978. Amin's army was largely a mercenary force. Half the soldiers were South Sudanese and 26 percent Congolese, with only 24 percent being Ugandan, mostly Muslim and Kakwa.[39]
We are determined to make the ordinary Ugandan master of his own destiny and, above all, to see that he enjoys the wealth of his country. Our deliberate policy is to transfer the economic control of Uganda into the hands of Ugandans, for the first time in our country's history.
— Idi Amin on the persecution of minorities[40]
In August 1972, Amin declared what he called an "economic war", a set of policies that included the expropriation of properties owned by Asians and Europeans. Uganda's 80,000 Asians were mostly from the Indian subcontinent and born in the country, their ancestors having come to Uganda in search of prosperity when India was still a British colony.[41] Many owned businesses, including large-scale enterprises, which formed the backbone of the Ugandan economy.[42][43][44]
On 4 August 1972, Amin issued a decree ordering the expulsion of the 50,000 Asians who were British passport holders. This was later amended to include all 60,000 Asians who were not Ugandan citizens. Around 30,000 Ugandan Asians emigrated to the UK. Others went to Commonwealth countries such as Australia, South Africa, Canada, and Fiji, or to India, Kenya, Pakistan, Sweden, Tanzania, and the United States.[42][45][44] Amin expropriated businesses and properties belonging to the Asians and the Europeans and handed them over to his supporters. The businesses were mismanaged, and industries collapsed from lack of maintenance. This proved disastrous for the already declining economy.[30]
In 1977, Henry Kyemba, Amin's health minister and a former official of the first Obote regime, defected and resettled in the UK. Kyemba wrote and published A State of Blood, the first insider exposé of Amin's rule.[citation needed]

International relations

Initially, Amin was supported by Western powers such as Israel, West Germany and, in particular, Great Britain. During the late 1960s, Obote's move to the left, which included his Common Man's Charter and the nationalisation of 80 British companies, had made the West worried that he would pose a threat to Western capitalist interests in Africa and make Uganda an ally of the Soviet Union. Amin, who had served with the King's African Rifles and taken part in Britain's suppression of the Mau Mau uprising prior to Ugandan independence, was known by the British as "intensely loyal to Britain". This made him an obvious choice as Obote's successor. Although some have claimed that Amin was being groomed for power as early as 1966, the plotting by the British and other Western powers began in earnest in 1969, after Obote had begun his nationalisation programme.[46]
Following the expulsion of Ugandan Asians in 1972, most of whom were of Indian descent, India severed diplomatic relations with Uganda. The same year, as part of his "economic war", Amin broke diplomatic ties with the UK and nationalised all British-owned businesses.[47]
That year, relations with Israel soured. Although Israel had previously supplied Uganda with arms, in 1972 Amin expelled Israeli military advisers and turned to Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and the Soviet Union for support.[33] Amin became an outspoken critic of Israel.[48] In return, Gaddafi gave financial aid to Amin.[49] In the 1974 French-produced documentary film General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait, Amin discussed his plans for war against Israel, using paratroops, bombers, and suicide squadrons.[15]
The Soviet Union became Amin's largest arms supplier.[4] East Germany was involved in the General Service Unit and the State Research Bureau, the two agencies that were most notorious for terror. Later during the Ugandan invasion of Tanzania in 1979, East Germany attempted to remove evidence of its involvement with these agencies.[5]

Idi Amin visits the Zairian dictator Mobutu during the Shaba I conflict in 1977
 
In 1973, U.S. Ambassador Thomas Patrick Melady recommended that the United States reduce its presence in Uganda. Melady described Amin's regime as "racist, erratic and unpredictable, brutal, inept, bellicose, irrational, ridiculous, and militaristic".[50] Accordingly, the United States closed its embassy in Kampala.
In June 1976, Amin allowed an Air France airliner from Tel Aviv to Paris hijacked by two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – External Operations (PFLP-EO) and two members of the German Revolutionäre Zellen to land at Entebbe Airport. The hijackers were joined there by three more. Soon after, 156 non-Jewish hostages who did not hold Israeli passports were released and flown to safety, while 83 Jews and Israeli citizens, as well as 20 others who refused to abandon them (among whom were the captain and crew of the hijacked Air France jet), continued to be held hostage.[51] In the subsequent Israeli rescue operation, codenamed Operation Thunderbolt (popularly known as Operation Entebbe), on the night of 3–4 July 1976, a group of Israeli commandos were flown in from Israel and seized control of Entebbe Airport, freeing nearly all the hostages. Three hostages died during the operation and 10 were wounded; 7 hijackers, about 45 Ugandan soldiers, and 1 Israeli soldier, Yoni Netanyahu, were killed. A fourth hostage, 75-year-old Dora Bloch, an elderly Jewish Englishwoman who had been taken to Mulago Hospital in Kampala before the rescue operation, was subsequently murdered in reprisal. The incident further soured Uganda's international relations, leading the United Kingdom to close its High Commission in Uganda.[52]
Uganda under Amin embarked on a large military build-up, which raised concerns in Kenya. Early in June 1975, Kenyan officials impounded a large convoy of Soviet-made arms en route to Uganda at the port of Mombasa. Tension between Uganda and Kenya reached its climax in February 1976, when Amin announced that he would investigate the possibility that parts of southern Sudan and western and central Kenya, up to within 32 kilometres (20 mi) of Nairobi, were historically a part of colonial Uganda. The Kenyan Government responded with a stern statement that Kenya would not part with "a single inch of territory". Amin backed down after the Kenyan army deployed troops and armored personnel carriers along the Kenya–Uganda border.[53]

Deposition and exile

By 1978, the number of Amin's supporters and close associates had shrunk significantly, and he faced increasing dissent from the populace within Uganda as the economy and infrastructure collapsed as a result of the years of neglect and abuse. After the killings of Bishop Luwum and ministers Oryema and Oboth Ofumbi in 1977, several of Amin's ministers defected or fled into exile.[54] In November 1978, after Amin's vice president, General Mustafa Adrisi, was injured in a car crash, troops loyal to him mutinied. Amin sent troops against the mutineers, some of whom had fled across the Tanzanian border.[30] Amin accused Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere of waging war against Uganda, ordered the invasion of Tanzanian territory, and formally annexed a section of the Kagera Region across the boundary.[30][32]
In January 1979, Nyerere mobilised the Tanzania People's Defence Force and counterattacked, joined by several groups of Ugandan exiles who had united as the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA). Amin's army retreated steadily, and, despite military help from Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Amin was forced to flee into exile by helicopter on 11 April 1979, when Kampala was captured. He escaped first to Libya, where he stayed until 1980, and ultimately settled in Saudi Arabia, where the Saudi royal family allowed him sanctuary and paid him a generous subsidy in return for his staying out of politics.[14] Amin lived for a number of years on the top two floors of the Novotel Hotel on Palestine Road in Jeddah. Brian Barron, who covered the Uganda–Tanzania war for the BBC as chief Africa correspondent, together with cameraman Mohamed Amin (no relation) of Visnews in Nairobi, located Amin in 1980, and secured the first interview with him since his deposition.[55]
During interviews he gave during his exile in Saudi Arabia, Amin held that Uganda needed him, and never expressed remorse for the nature of his regime.[56]

Illness and death

On 19 July 2003, one of Amin's wives, Madina, reported that he was in a coma and near death at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from kidney failure. She pleaded with the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, to allow him to return to Uganda for the remainder of his life. Museveni replied that Amin would have to "answer for his sins the moment he was brought back".[57] Amin's family decided to disconnect life support and Amin died at the hospital in Jeddah on 16 August 2003. He was buried in Ruwais Cemetery in Jeddah in a simple grave without any fanfare.[58] After Amin's death, David Owen revealed that when he was the British Foreign Secretary he had proposed having Amin assassinated. He has defended this, arguing: "I'm not ashamed of considering it, because his regime goes down in the scale of Pol Pot as one of the worst of all African regimes".[59]

Family and associates 

Remnants of Amin's palace on Lake Victoria
 
A polygamist, Idi Amin married at least six women, three of whom he divorced. He married his first and second wives, Malyamu and Kay, in 1966. In 1967, he married Nora, and then married Nalongo Madina in 1972. On 26 March 1974, he announced on Radio Uganda that he had divorced Malyamu, Nora, and Kay.[60][61] Malyamu was arrested in Tororo on the Kenyan border in April 1974 and accused of attempting to smuggle a bolt of fabric into Kenya. She later moved to London where she operates a restaurant in East London.[60][62] In 1974, Kay Amin died under mysterious circumstances, with her body found dismembered.[63] Nora fled to Zaire in 1979; her current whereabouts are unknown.[62]
In July 1975, Amin staged a £2 Million wedding to 19 year old Sarah Kyolaba, a go-go dancer with the Revolutionary Suicide Mechanised Regiment Band, nicknamed "Suicide Sarah".[64] The wedding was held during the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit meeting in Kampala, and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat served as Amin's best man.[65] The couple had four children, and enjoyed rally race driving Amin's Citroën SM, with Sarah as navigator.[64] Sarah was a hairdresser in Tottenham when she died in 2015. Before she met Amin, she was living with a boyfriend, Jesse Gitta; he vanished and it is not clear if he was beheaded, or detained after fleeing to Kenya.[64][65]
By 1993, Amin was living with the last nine of his children and one wife, Mama a Chumaru (who appears to be his sixth and newest wife), the mother of the youngest four of his children. His last known child, daughter Iman, was born in 1992.[66] According to The Monitor, Amin married a few months before his death in 2003.[62]
Sources differ widely on the number of children Amin fathered; most say that he had 30 to 45.[b] Until 2003, Taban Amin (born 1955),[69] Idi Amin's eldest son, was the leader of West Nile Bank Front (WNBF), a rebel group opposed to the government of Yoweri Museveni. In 2005, he was offered amnesty by Museveni, and in 2006, he was appointed Deputy Director General of the Internal Security Organisation.[70] Another of Amin's sons, Haji Ali Amin, ran for election as Chairman (i.e. mayor) of Njeru Town Council in 2002 but was not elected.[71] In early 2007, the award-winning film The Last King of Scotland prompted one of his sons, Jaffar Amin (born in 1967),[72] to speak out in his father's defence. Jaffar Amin said he was writing a book to rehabilitate his father's reputation.[73] Jaffar is the tenth of Amin's 40 official children by seven official wives.[72]
On 3 August 2007, Amin's son (with Sarah), Faisal Wangita (born in 1981), was convicted for playing a role in a murder in London.[74][75][76][77]
Among Amin's closest associates was the Briton Bob Astles, who is considered by many to have been a malign influence and by others as having been a moderating presence.[78] Isaac Malyamungu was an instrumental affiliate and one of the more feared officers in Amin's army.[54]

Erratic behaviour, self-bestowed titles and media portrayal 

A 1977 caricature of Amin in military and presidential attire by Edmund S. Valtman
 
As the years progressed, Amin's behaviour became more erratic, unpredictable, and outspoken. After the United Kingdom broke off all diplomatic relations with his regime in 1977, Amin declared he had defeated the British, and conferred on himself the decoration of CBE (Conqueror of the British Empire). His full self-bestowed title ultimately became: "His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular", in addition to his officially-stated claim of being the uncrowned King of Scotland.[79] He never received the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) or the Military Cross (MC). He conferred a doctorate of law on himself from Makerere University as well as the Victorious Cross (VC), a medal made to emulate the British Victoria Cross.[6][80]
Amin became the subject of rumours and myths, including a widespread belief that he was a cannibal.[81] Some of the rumours, such as the mutilation of one of his wives, were spread and popularised by the 1980 film Rise and Fall of Idi Amin and alluded to in the film The Last King of Scotland in 2006, a movie which earned actor Forest Whitaker an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Amin.[82]
During Amin's time in power, popular media outside of Uganda often portrayed him as an essentially comic and eccentric figure. In a 1977 assessment typical of the time, a Time magazine article described him as a "killer and clown, big-hearted buffoon and strutting martinet".[83] The comedy-variety series Saturday Night Live aired four Amin sketches between 1976–79, including one in which he was an ill-behaved houseguest in exile, and another in which he was a spokesman against venereal disease.[84] In a Benny Hill show transmitted in January 1977, Hill portrayed Amin sitting behind a desk that featured a placard reading "ME TARZAN, U GANDA".[85]
The foreign media were often criticised by Ugandan exiles and defectors for emphasizing Amin's self-aggrandizing eccentricities and taste for excess while downplaying or excusing his murderous behavior.[86] Other commentators even suggested that Amin had deliberately cultivated his eccentric reputation in the foreign media as an easily parodied buffoon in order to defuse international concern over his administration of Uganda.[87]

Portrayal in media and literature  

Film and television dramatisations
  • NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live" did some comedy sketches of Idi Amin portrayed by comedian Garrett Morris in the 1970s. The most memorable one was a parody of President Jimmy Carter's national telephone call-in which Idi Amin was doing his version having a tied-up Walter Cronkite during the broadcast. Everyone called asking what happened to their relative that got arrested or taken away and Idi Amin always replied, "Simple, they were killed in an auto accident."
Documentaries
  • General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait (1974), directed by French filmmaker Barbet Schroeder.
  • Idi Amin: Monster in Disguise (1997), a television documentary directed by Greg Baker.
  • The Man Who Ate His Archbishop's Liver? (2004), a television documentary written, produced, and directed by Elizabeth C. Jones for Associated-Rediffusion and Channel 4.
  • The Man Who Stole Uganda (1971), World In Action first broadcast 5 April 1971.
  • Inside Idi Amin's Terror Machine (1979), World In Action first broadcast 13 June 1979.
  • A Day in the Life of a Dictator (2013), directed by Hendrick Dusollier
  • On the Spot (2014), a television documentary series featuring an interview with Amin's son Jaffar
Books Music and audio
Notes
 
  • Many sources, like Encyclopædia Britannica, Encarta, and the Columbia Encyclopedia, claim that Amin was born in Koboko or Kampala c.1925, and that the exact date of his birth is unknown. Researcher Fred Guweddeko claimed that Amin was born on 17 May 1928,[11] but that is disputed.[12] The only certainty is that Amin was born sometime during the mid-1920s

  • According to Henry Kyema and the African Studies Review,[67] Idi Amin had 34 children. Some sources say Amin claimed to have fathered 32 children. A report in The Monitor says he was survived by 45 children,[62] while another in the BBC gives the figure of 54.[68]
     
    References 
     
  • Nakajubi, Gloria (15 July 2015). "Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's widow Sarah Kyolaba dies in the UK aged 59". The Independent. Retrieved 21 September 2015.

  • "Dictator Idi Amin dies". BBC News. 16 August 2003.

  • Roland Anthony Oliver, Anthony Atmore. Africa Since 1800. p. 272.

  • Dale C. Tatum. Who influenced whom?. p. 177.

  • Gareth M. Winrow. The Foreign Policy of the GDR in Africa, p. 141.

  • "Idi Amin: A Byword for Brutality". News24. 21 July 2003. Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2012.

  • Gershowitz, Suzanne (20 March 2007). "The Last King of Scotland, Idi Amin, and the United Nations". Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009.

  • New York Times, 17 December 1986; Paper Cites CIA Aid to Amin's Army in 70s

  • Keatley, Patrick (18 August 2003). "Obituary: Idi Amin". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 March 2008.

  • Ullman, Richard H. (April 1978). "Human Rights and Economic Power: The United States Versus Idi Amin". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 26 March 2009. The most conservative estimates by informed observers hold that President Idi Amin Dada and the terror squads operating under his loose direction have killed 100,000 Ugandans in the seven years he has held power.[dead link]

  • Guweddeko, Fred (12 June 2007). "Rejected then taken in by dad; a timeline". The Monitor. Archived from the original on 12 June 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2009.

  • O'Kadameri, Billie (1 September 2003). "Separate fact from fiction in Amin stories". Originally published in The Monitor. Retrieved 8 May 2010.

  • Elliott, Chris (30 November 2014). "Idi Amin's son complains about the Guardian's obituary notice". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2014.

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    Sources External links
       
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