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New Christian Seriously Injured after Church Service in Uganda

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(Morning Star News) – Before Sadi Bwanga could make it home from the church service in eastern Uganda where he had just put his faith in Christ, Muslim relatives found out and intercepted him.

Bwanga, 20, had prayed to receive Christ at the Feb. 6 church service in Kadama, Kibuku District that morning, said the evangelist taking him home on his motorcycle. The grandson of a former Muslim sheikh who had led Kadama Sub-County for many years, Bwanga was half way back to his home in predominantly Muslim Bulocho village when relatives stopped him and the evangelist driving the motorcycle.

A relative had seen Bwanga and the evangelist, whose name is withheld for security reasons, enter the church that morning and then told other family members. Driving a car to the church 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) away, the relatives found Bwanga carrying a Bible that the church had given him, took him to the roadside and told the evangelist to leave, the friend said.

“One of them told me, ‘We know that you are a Christian, but our son is a Muslim – we do not want to see you here,’” the evangelist said. “So I left immediately. Just a little distance away I heard loud screaming from Sadi crying for help.”

When another vehicle happened by, it stopped, and the occupants learned from the evangelist about the assault taking place, causing Bwanga’s Muslim relatives to put him into their vehicle and drive away, the evangelist said.

“I knew that they were going to kill my friend, so I alerted my pastor, who organized two vehicles immediately and we drove to Sadi’s home,” he said. “On arrival there were several people outside, but on seeing us they fled. We found Sadi outside his cottage lying in a pool of blood and half-naked at around 2:30 p.m., with serious head and leg injuries, but still alive.”

They rushed him to Kadama Hospital while Bwanga’s relatives demolished his living quarters, the evangelist said.

Church leaders reported the attack to the area chairperson, a Muslim who took no action, the church pastor told Morning Star News.

“We are planning to report this incident to the police as soon as Sadi recovers,” the pastor said. “We need prayers on the next course of action to take.”

Bwanga was released from the hospital on Monday (Feb. 14). He remains on an IV drip, and a nurse is monitoring his condition at a house at an undisclosed location.

The assault was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.

According to the U.S. Office of International Religious Freedom,

42.3 million (midyear 2020 estimate). According to the most recent census, conducted in 2014, 82 percent of the population is Christian. The largest Christian group is Roman Catholic with 39 percent; 32 percent of the population is Anglican, and 11 percent is Pentecostal Christian. According to official government estimates, Muslims constitute 14 percent of the population. The UMSC estimates Muslims (primarily Sunni) are closer to 35 percent of the population. There is also a small number of Shia Muslims, mostly in Kampala and the eastern part of the country, particularly in the Mayuge and Bugiri Districts. Other religious groups, which collectively constitute less than 5 percent of the population, include Seventh-day Adventists, adherents of indigenous beliefs, Baptists, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Orthodox Christians, Hindus, Jews, Baha’is, and those with no religious affiliation.

According to the Indian Association in Uganda, the largest non-African ethnic population is of Indian origin or descent, most of whom are Hindu. The Jewish community of approximately 2,000 members is mainly concentrated in Mbale Town, in the eastern region of the country. Generally, religious groups are dispersed evenly across the country, although there are concentrations of Muslims in the eastern and northern parts of the country.

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