After circumcising himself and his sons and ordering his male converts to follow suit, Kakungulu compiled a book of rules and prayers for members of his tribe. In it, he demanded strict adherence to commandments in the Old Testament.
Judaism thrived in Uganda, even after Kakungulu’s death in 1928. When Ugandan dictator Idi Amin came to power in 1971, he outlawed Judaism and threatened to execute anyone who practiced the religion. The decree fractured the Abayudaya and forced its most loyal adherents underground.
Freedom of religious practice was reinstated after Amin was deposed in 1979. About 1,500 Abayudaya Jews live in villages in eastern Uganda today.