VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Category Archives: Uganda

Court Drops Charges of Kidnapping, ‘Human Sacrifice’ against Evangelist in Uganda

Church members who prayed for Hassan Muwanguzi in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

(Morning Star News) – A judge in Uganda last week dropped charges aimed at stirring up Islamist opposition against an evangelist who provides refuge to converts from Islam, sources said.

A court in Tirinyi, Kibuku District on March 13 dropped the charges of kidnapping and “human sacrifice” against Hassan Muwanguzi after the complainant and his attorney twice failed to show up in court, Muwanguzi’s attorney told Morning Star News.

Muwanguzi and his attorney appeared at a court hearing on March 10 at which the judge asked whether the complainant or his lawyer were present. They were not.

“The case was adjourned to March 13, and still the complainant failed to appear in court again when the charges were read against Muwanguzi,” the attorney said.

Muwanguzi told Morning Star News his lawyer then requested the court dismiss the case since there was no public witness.

“The magistrate heard the request of my lawyer, and he said, “The case has been dismissed,’” Muwanguzi said. “Immediately we left the courtroom, and as we got out we saw more than 15 Muslims, some dressed in Islamic attire, enter the court gate. We knew that they had come for hearing of the case.”

His lawyer told Muwanguzi that those arriving were too late, and that he should file a defamation case against them so that he could be compensated, the evangelist said.

“I answered him that as a Christian I will forgive them, just as our master Jesus did,” he said. “He [the attorney] was not content at first, but later he accepted it.”

Muwanguzi, who has suffered life-threatening attacks from jihadist Muslims, said he was thankful for the prayers and support of a pastor in Kibuku District at a time when his fears threatened to overcome him.

“Though I am still fearful from not knowing what the Muslims are now planning, the fears are now reduced,” he said.

Hours after Muwanguzi was released on bail on March 3, an Islamic leader urged village Muslims to kill him, an area source said. Muslims in eastern Uganda’s Kachomo village, Budaka District gathered that day to discuss how to stop Muwanguzi, a lay leader with the Church of Uganda well known in the region for his wide-ranging evangelism, said a source who snuck into the gathering. He said a sheikh (Islamic teacher) had told those present that Muwanguzi should be killed.

In an effort to defame Muwanguzi and stir up Islamist sentiment against him, Nghangha Mubakali on Feb. 26 accused him of kidnapping and making a human sacrifice of his daughter, Muwanguzi told Morning Star News. He said Namusisi Budadu Biryeri, 21, had taken refuge with him after her father beat her for putting her faith in Christ in 2015.

Police on Feb. 27 found her alive, and she told them she had sought refuge with Muwanguzi after her father kicked her out of their home on Nov. 12, 2015, for becoming a Christian that day.

Muwanguzi, a married father of six, has long housed converts from Islam in danger from hard-line Muslims.

Muwanguzi said he was grateful also to a pastor who made several calls to government officials about his arrest.

“Also, I am very grateful for the many church members who prayed for me,” he said. “Though the case has been dropped, I still need prayers because persecution is still going on, and I still have fears since I am taking care of many converts from Islam. I need protection and support for these new converts. I know nothing will separate me from the love of Christ and in serving Him.”

Uganda: Pastor and Others Missing after Muslims Beat Men and Rape Women in Congregation

The Rev. Musa Mukenye pleads for Christians to forgive Muslim assailants . (Morning Star News)

The Rev. Musa Mukenye pleads for Christians to forgive Muslim assailants . (Morning Star News)

(Morning Star News) – A pastor in eastern Uganda and eight other Christians are missing two weeks after a Muslim mob attacked a church prayer meeting, locked the congregation in, beat several members and raped 15 women, sources said.

The approximately 90 Muslims broke into the evening prayer meeting of Katira Church of Uganda, in Katira village, Budaka District at about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 and beat them with clubs and sticks, area sources said. Previously Muslims had only thrown stones at the roof of the church building to disrupt church services of the 500-member congregation, villagers said.

At the evening service, about 80 members were present, and among those who escaped before the doors were locked was a Christian who heard one of the assailants shout, “Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity,” a church leader said.

Pastor Moses Mutasa had been outside questioning some visitors unknown to the church when several others arrived shouting, “Away with the pastor,” and he fled, said the Rev. Musa Mukenye, who oversees several churches in the district’s Iki-iki County.

“We do not know what has happened to our pastor, Moses Mutasa,” Pastor Mukenye told a meeting of local officials, police and other security officers. “He might have been killed or has been kept hostage.”

The assailants locked about half of those in attendance inside the building, (more…)

Christian Woman in Eastern Uganda Coerced into Taking Poison

Sandra Summaya, photo altered for security reasons. (Morning Star News)

Sandra Summaya, photo altered for security reasons. (Morning Star News)

One week after she receives Christ, Muslim relatives leave her to die.

(Morning Star News) – Muslim relatives of a young woman in eastern Uganda who put her faith in Christ at a Christmas service coerced her into taking poison at a New Year’s celebration, she said.

Sandra Summaya, 24, of Bugayi village in Pallisa District, told Morning Star News that she converted to Christianity at a worship service on Christmas Day.

“I had great peace when the pastor prayed for me to take Jesus as my savior,” she said. “I later shared my testimony with my brother, who outrightly accused me of being an infidel and an outcast from the family and the Muslim community. I felt great pain inside me because of the insults.”

On Sunday (Jan. 1) Summaya’s immediate family and a few other relatives gathered in the predominantly Muslim village in Kamuge County to celebrate the New Year with a meal. At the high point of the gathering, Summaya said, a paternal uncle read to her a Bible verse and suggested it meant God would protect her from harm, including illness from ingesting poison.

“He said, ‘Do you believe that Issa [Jesus] is able to protect your from poison as written in the Bible?’ and I answered ‘Yes,’” she said. “Immediately I was forced to take the poison to confirm my faith in the Bible, at around midnight. I could not deny the Bible, so I took the rat poison.”

Soon she became seriously ill.

“I started having severe stomach pains together with vomiting and cried for help,” she said. “I was taken away from the homestead to a nearby bush. I was tied with a rope to a tree and left to die.”

Her loud cries woke a Christian neighbor who rushed to the site.

“I found Summaya unconscious, and we rushed her to a Kamuge nursing home, where the doctor saved her life,” said the neighbor, whose name is withheld for security reasons.

Summaya remains at the hospital and her condition has stabilized, a nurse told Morning Star News.

“She will still be in the hospital for some few days as we monitor her situation,” said the nurse, who requested anonymity.

An area source requested prayer that Summaya be healed and protected, and that she not doubt God’s love and provision.

The incidents are the latest in a series of anti-Christian attacks in eastern Uganda. On Christmas Day Muslims in eastern Uganda beat Christians at a worship service and wrecked the home of a single mother on Christmas Eve, sources said.

On Dec. 8, relatives of a former Islamic teacher attacked his 60-year-old mother for becoming a Christian, wounding her head and breaking her hand, sources said. Aimuna Namutongi sustained a deep cut on her forehead. She and her son, 30-year-old Malik Higenyi, were trying to gather cassava at 10 a.m. on the homestead he had been forced to abandon in Bufuja village, Butaleja District, after Muslim relatives threatened to kill him if he returned.

Higenyi, whom Muslim relatives had beaten unconscious on Nov. 13 after he publically confessed having embraced Christianity, managed to escape the fury of those who arrived at his farm on Dec. 8 while he and his mother were trying to harvest something to eat, he told Morning Star News.

Namutongi became a Christian after visiting her ostracized, injured son on Nov. 26 and listening to his faith journey, a local source said. He has continued to receive threatening messages, he said.

On Oct. 20, Muslims in Kobolwa village, Kibuku District gutted the home of a Christian family for housing two boys who had been threatened with violence for leaving Islam.

Stephen Muganzi, 41, told Morning Star News that the two teenaged boys sought refuge with him on Oct. 16 after their parents earlier in the month learned of their conversion, began questioning them and threatened to kill them. The two boys, ages 16 and 17, had secretly become Christians nearly seven months before.

On Sept. 18, 2016, a Muslim in Budaka District beat his wife unconscious for attending a church service, sources said. Hussein Kasolo had recently married Fatuma Baluka, 21-year-old daughter of an Islamic leader in a predominantly Muslim village, undisclosed for security reasons.

On Aug. 10, a Christian woman in eastern Uganda became ill after she was poisoned, she said.

Aisha Twanza, a 25-year-old convert from Islam, ingested an insecticide put into her food after family members upbraided her for becoming a Christian, she told Morning Star News. She and her husband, who live in Kakwangha village in Budaka District, put their faith in Christ in January 2016.

In Busalamu village, Luuka District, eight children from four families have taken refuge with Christians after their parents beat and disowned them for leaving Islam or animism, sources said. The new-found faith of the children, ages 9 to 16, angered their parents, who beat them in an effort to deter them from sneaking to worship services, and on June 29, 2016 the young ones took refuge at the church building, area sources said.

About 85 percent of the people in Uganda are Christian and 11 percent Muslim, with some eastern areas having large Muslim populations. The country’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another, but Christians in eastern Uganda are suffering continual attacks by non-state figures.

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Muslim in Eastern Uganda Burns 9-Year-Old Son for Accepting Christ, Source Say

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(Morning Star News) – The Muslim father of a 9-year-old boy in eastern Uganda who put his faith in Christ this month tied his son to a tree and burned him, sources said.

Nassif Malagara of the Kakira Parish area, Kisozi Sub-County, Kamuli District decided to become a Christian after a neighbor took him to visit a church in another village, undisclosed for security reasons, on June 5.

“At the end of the service, Nassif remained behind and then followed me to the church’s pastry room and requested that he wanted to receive Jesus as his personal savior,” the pastor of the church told Morning Star News. “I was a bit hesitant, but after his continuous press, I then prayed with him, and he left.”

Nassif subsequently declined to participate in any Muslim activities, including attending amadrassa (Islamic school), the pastor said. His father, 36-year-old Abubakar Malagara, and stepmother, Madina Namwaje, 35, became furious when they learned he had converted to Christianity, the pastor said.

The boy told Morning Star News that his parents prohibited him from eating, beyond the day-time fast of Ramadan, so that he went without food for two days before sneaking to his neighbor’s house for food. He brought food back to his home over the next few days, and on June 9 his father caught him eating.

“He started beating me up with sticks, but I managed to escape to a nearby bush,” Nassif said. “My father then followed me and got hold of me back to the homestead, where he tied me up to a banana tree. He went into the house and came back with a hot piece of wood. The banana tree had dry leaves, which caught fire and caused serious burns on my body.”

Neighbors heard his screams for help and rescued him, he said, and took him to Kamuli Hospital. The hospital’s Walwawo Zubari told Morning Star News that Nassif had burns on several parts of his body.

“Nassif has been recovering, but at a very slow pace,” Zubari said. “He might need to be referred to another hospital for specialized treatment.”

A relative told Morning Star News that she hopes to take custody of Nassif after his release from the hospital.

Area residents alerted Kisozi Police Post, and officers arrested Malagara, registering the case under reference number CRR044/2016. Malagara, who attends Nankaduro mosque, has been released on bail.

The neighbor (name withheld for security reasons) who introduced Nassif to the church said he fears for his life after receiving a threatening text message on his phone.

“We know that you are behind the conversion of Nassif to Christianity,” the message read. “You will soon reap what you have sown, which will be a lesson to others. Islam is against such conversion.”

The sender blocked his identity, but the neighbor said he suspects Malagara might have used another Muslim’s phone to send the message.

About 85 percent of the people in Uganda are Christian and 11 percent Muslim, with some eastern areas having large Muslim populations. The country’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another.

Kamuli District is about 220 kilometers (136 miles) from Mbale Town in eastern Uganda. Nassif’s case comes after a Christian in eastern Uganda who had received death threats from Muslims after a religious discussion was killed on June 4. The body of Yokannah Zirinkuma of Kasasira village, Kibuku District, was found in a pool of blood in nearby Kadama village, near the home of the primary suspect. Zirinkuma was 50.

On May 15 in Kasecha village, Kibuku District, Micah Byamukama, pastor of Kasecha Baptist Church, died at Kabweri Health Centre after ingesting an insecticide that a Muslim villager was suspected of putting into his food. He was 61.

On May 8 in Mbaale village, Imanyiro Sub-County, Mayuge District, a Muslim strangled his wife to death for leaving Islam, relatives and neighbors said. Awali Kakaire, 34, allegedly killed Mariam Nakirya for embracing Christianity. She was 30.

On April 19, Muslims in Pallisa District beat and raped a young Christian woman for testifying that a mosque leader killed her father because of his faith, sources said. The imam at a mosque in Kanyumu village, Sheikh Musana Ibrahim, and two other Muslims killed Samson Mukama on Jan. 28, according to his daughter.

On April 4, a Muslim in Kachomo village, Budaka District, attacked his wife for becoming a Christian, telling a judge that Islam allows him to kill any apostate, sources said. Having moved to another village with their four children following an attack last year, Ntende Hawa, 38, said she was visiting her estranged husband to discuss child support when he questioned her about her faith and began strangling her. Her husband’s brother stopped the assault.

Threats from hard-line Muslims and the rape of her 13-year-old daughter forced a Christian mother of five children to flee their village in eastern Uganda in March, sources said. Amina Napiya, a 42-year-old widow, fled her home in Nakajete village, Budaka Town Council, on March 16.

Napiya and her five children fled after receiving a text message that the family would be killed for leaving Islam, she said. Napiya’s daughter was raped on Feb. 25 while fetching firewood a kilometer from their home at about 4:30 p.m., the widow said. Napiya believes relatives may have hired Taika Suleiman, arrested in connection with the alleged rape, to assault her daughter because of their faith, as her daughter told her that the rapist said, “This is the second warning to your mother for disgracing the faith of the Muslims.”

On Jan. 10, relatives of Abdu Nsera, a recent high school graduate in Katende village near Busede, Jinja District, beat him after finding out he had left Islam to become a Christian. They burned down a house they had built for him and have been searching for him after he fled.

On Jan. 27 in Numuseru village, Naboa Sub-County in Budaka District, the body of Laurence Maiso was found at his house, his head in a pool of blood. Four days earlier, Imam Kamulali Hussein had met him and his wife on a local road and told him, “Allah is about to send to you the Angel of Death in your house. Please prepare to meet him at any time.”

On Dec. 23, 2015, a pastor in eastern Uganda was hacked to death as he and other church members resisted an effort by Muslims to take over their land in Nansololo village near Mazuba, in Namutumba District, area church leaders said. Pastor Bongo Martin is survived by a widow and two children.

In another area of eastern Uganda, five underground Christians in a predominantly Muslim village, including a pregnant mother, died from a pesticide put into their food after a Bible study on Dec. 18, area sources said. The Bible study took place in Kachomo village, Kachomo Sub-County, Budaka District at the home of Hajii Suleiman Sajjabi, a convert from Islam who had begun the study with eight family members who had come to faith in Christ under his influence.

Four of Sajjabi’s relatives have died, as did a pregnant neighbor, according to area sources. A doctor at Mbale Regional Hospital said a postmortem test showed a substance known as Malathion, a low-toxicity pesticide, in those who had died. Though low-level toxic, Malathion when ingested quickly metabolizes into highly toxic Tomalaoxon.

Islamic extremists in eastern Uganda on Dec. 8, 2015 set a deadly trap for a Christian policeman who had left Islam, and the next day other hard-line Muslims kidnapped three children from another convert in a nearby village. More than 20 Muslim extremists in the Komodo area of Kadama Sub-County, Kibuku District, killed officer Ismail Kuloba at about 4 p.m. after he responded to an urgent call to intervene in a supposed land dispute between warring parties, an area Christian told Morning Star News. Kuloba was 43.

One of the assailants, Mudangha Kasimu, threw a stone that hit Kuloba in the forehead. Kasimu then shot him twice in the head, and he died as other Muslims were shouting, ‘Allah Akbar [God is greater],’” sources said.

About 12 miles east in Kabuna, near Budaka in Kaderuna District, a group of Muslim men from Pallisa on Dec. 9 kidnapped three children of Madengho Badir, a Christian convert from Islam, sources said. Badir, 42, arrived at his home in Kabuna Sub-County, Kabuna parish, at 10 p.m. to find 5-year-old Nabukwasi Shakira, 7-year-old Gessa Amuza and 10-year-old Wagti Musitafa missing.

An area source said a 14-year-old boy from Kabuna, Karami Hassan, was with Badir’s three children when they were abducted near their home. The boy said a group of Muslims from Pallisa were looking for Badir, and the boy led them to Badir’s children.

Outside of Kabeshai, near Pallisa, a Christian father of five who supported 10 children whose families had disowned them for leaving Islam was killed on Dec. 2. One of three men who attacked Patrick Ojangole reproached him for failing to heed a warning to cease his Christian activities before the Christian was killed, said a witness who was with Ojangole and escaped. Ojangole was 43.

On Nov. 12, 2015, the father of a young Muslim woman in east Uganda tried to beat her to death after she became a Christian, but community leaders intervened and limited him to disowning her, sources said. Kibida Muyemba learned that his 21-year-old daughter, Namusisi Birye, had put her faith in Christ at an evangelistic campaign held that day in Nandere village, Kadama Sub-County, Kibuku District, 41 kilometers (25 miles) west of Mbale, church leaders told Morning Star News. Birye and a man in the traditional dress of an imam confessed openly to receiving Christ, they said, and angry Muslims cut the event short.

On Oct. 19, 2015, Muslims in Kalampete village, Kibuku District who were angry at a Christian for leaving Islam killed his wife, a month after his brother was killed for the same reason. Mamwikomba Mwanika, mother of three adult children and five others ranging in age from 17 to 9, died en route to a hospital after Muslims unknown to her dragged her from her home at about 9 p.m. and assaulted her, survivors said.

Her husband’s brother, Samson Nfunyeku, was killed in the village on Sept. 23 after flaring tempers cut short a religious debate he’d had with Islamic scholars.

In Nsinze village, Namutumba District, a Muslim beat and left for dead his wife and 18-year-old son on Aug. 11 after learning they had converted to Christianity, area sources said. Issa Kasoono beat and strangled his wife, Jafalan Kadondi, but she survived, said a source who requested anonymity. He said other relatives joined Kasoono in beating her and their two sons, Ibrahim Kasoono, 18, and Ismael Feruza, 16, though the younger son managed to escape with only bruises on his arm.

The wife of a former sheikh was poisoned to death on June 17, 2015 after she and her husband put their faith in Christ in Nabuli village, Kibuku District. Namumbeiza Swabura was the mother of 11 children, including a 5-month-old baby.

In Kiryolo, Kaderuna Sub-County, Budaka District on March 28, 2015, five Muslims gang-raped the 17-year-old daughter of a pastor because the church leader ignored their warnings that he stop worship services, she said.

praying_together_hand_in_hand-217x300VOP Note: Please pray for Christians in Uganda, particularly those who have converted from Islam.

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Evangelist in Eastern Uganda Killed after Muslim-Christian Debate

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(Morning Star News) – Islamists upset by a Christian-Muslim debate are suspected in the killing of a long-time evangelist in eastern Uganda who led many Muslims to Christ, sources said.

The mutilated body of Samson Nfunyeku was found close to his home in Kalampete village, Kibuku District early on Sept. 23, after the latest in a series of organized debates with Islamic scholars at Tirinyi Trading Center ended prematurely due to flaring tempers the previous night. He was 59.

At a previous debate, also sponsored by Nfunyeku’s Church of Uganda and other churches, Muslim leaders had threatened him and warned him to hold no more debates, a source said.

“Four months ago Samson and others had a very hot debate at Tirinyi Trading Center with the Muslim scholars that ended on a bad note, and they gave warning that such debates were not good for the Muslims,” said one of the participants, a former sheikh (Islamic teacher) who became a Christian.

Nevertheless, another debate was held on Sept. 22 with few in attendance, said the source, whose name is withheld for security purposes. The debate ended at about 5:30 p.m., and as the trading center is about seven kilometers (four miles) from Kalampete, colleagues estimated Nfunyeku was killed between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

He had head injuries and a mark on his neck indicating he was strangled, they said.

Nfunyeku was a lay leader who boldly proclaimed Christ in house-to-house visits and at evangelistic events for more than 30 years. Loved ones showed strong emotion at his burial on Sept. 25 in Kalampete, sources said.

“We are going to miss the courage and passion seen in the life of Samson, who was out to win Muslims for Christ,” Gauma Samuel of the Church of Uganda’s Budaka Archdeaconry said at his funeral service.

Nfunyeku is survived by seven children and 16 grandchildren.

“They need prayers in this moment of mourning,” a source said.

Converts from Islam to Christianity in eastern Uganda have recently experienced regular instances of persecution. A Muslim in Nsinze village, Namutumba District beat and left for dead his wife and 18-year-old son on Aug. 11 after learning they had converted to Christianity, area sources said.

Issa Kasoono beat and strangled his wife, Jafalan Kadondi, but she survived, said a source who requested anonymity. He said other relatives joined Kasoono in beating her and their two sons, Ibrahim Kasoono, 18, and Ismael Feruza, 16, though the younger son managed to escape with only bruises on his arm.

The wife of a former sheikh was poisoned to death on June 17 after she and her husband put their faith in Christ in Nabuli village, Kibuku District. Namumbeiza Swabura was the mother of 11 children, including a 5-month-old baby.

In Kiryolo, Kaderuna Sub-County, Budaka District on March 28, five Muslims gang-raped the 17-year-old daughter of a pastor because the church leader ignored their warnings that he stop worship services, she said.

About 85 percent of the people in Uganda are Christian and 11 percent Muslim, with some eastern areas having large Muslim populations. The country’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another.

College Student in Uganda Whose Family Left Islam Is Beaten, Raped

Darkened image of college student beaten and raped in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

Darkened image of college student beaten and raped in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

(Morning Star News) – Three men beat and raped a 19-year-old Catholic woman in Uganda last week, sources said.

The student at St. Mary’s Teachers College in Bukedea, in the district of the same name about 50 miles from Mbale in Eastern Uganda, said she was returning from class on Sept. 9 when she was ambushed by three masked men who indicated they knew that her parents had left Islam.

“I tried to scream, but one blocked my mouth and another slapped me as they forcefully dragged me off the footpath,” said the woman, whose name is withheld. “I heard one of them telling the others that I should be killed because my parents deserted Islam. But another said, ‘But we are not sure whether this girl is a Christian.’”

Instead of killing her, they raped and beat her so severely that she is still receiving hospital treatment for her injuries, sources said.

“Her father called me over the phone and informed me what had happened to his daughter,” a Christian leader said. “I then met him at their home and prayed with the family, as the daughter is still in the hospital.”

The men attacked her seven miles outside of Mbale on Kumi Road and dragged her about 100 meters off the footpath, she said. After beating her until she was unconscious, they left her to die near a swamp.

Area resident James Kalanga found her early the next morning, Sept. 10.

“Just before connecting to the paved road, I saw a piece of school uniform on top of the trees,” Kalanga said. “I was a bit suspicious, then I saw some marks of human footprints and moved closer. Then I heard the sound of a person from the bush. I got scared and returned back, but good enough I met two men who were traveling on the same route and told them what I had seen.”

The three men went back into the wilderness and found her half-naked and groaning in pain, still unable to speak, he said.

Nearby they found her school backpack; they opened it and discovered her name and school, he said. They took her to a medical clinic and reported the matter to the school.

The school informed her parents, who went to the clinic and then took her to a hospital for treatment.

The family left Islam five years ago and joined Bulefe Catholic Church.

Threat to Take Children

In an undisclosed village in Budaka District, also in eastern Uganda, a 36-year-old mother of eight requested prayer after area Muslims forced her to return to Islam, she said.

Madina (full name withheld) said she maintained her faith in Christ in spite of her husband leaving her 10 years ago because she became a Christian, but that she returned to Islam this month after her former in-laws threatened her.

“The relatives of my husband threatened to kill me and take away the children if I refused to go back to Islam,” she said. “They said, ‘We are not going to lose our children to Christianity. We better kill you and get back the children.’”

Madina told Morning Star News she is spiritually troubled from returning to Islam, and she asked for prayer that God would supernaturally restore her to Christ.

“The family of my husband had cut all ties with me when they discovered that I joined Christianity, but this was not much of a problem to me as compared with the death threats that they have issued,” she said.

A Muslim relative had allowed her family to stay with them after her husband divorced her, and the relative had also provided medicine and funds for her children’s education, “but now he has joined the rest of the family members in issuing death threats to us,” she said. “I have nowhere to go with my children, so I have decided to return to Islam to save the children and myself. I know Issa [Jesus] will remember me one day.”

Muslim Relatives Attack Mother, Sons in Uganda for Turning to Christ

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(Morning Star News) – A Muslim in eastern Uganda beat and left for dead his wife and 18-year-old son on Tuesday (Aug. 11) after learning they had converted to Christianity, area sources said.

Issa Kasoono beat and strangled his wife, Jafalan Kadondi, in Nsinze village, Namutumba District, but she survived, said a source who requested anonymity for security reasons. He said other relatives joined Kasoono in beating her and their two sons, Ibrahim Kasoono, 18, and Ismael Feruza, 16, though the younger son managed to escape with only bruises on his arm.

All three were treated at a local clinic. Due to injuries from the strangling, Kadondi has lost her voice and has difficulty eating, according to the source and an area pastor.

“The mother and Ibrahim Kasoono were seriously injured,” the source said. “Ibrahim was hit with a blunt object, had his right arm broken and has stomach pains, while the mother was strangled and sustained neck and throat injuries.”

Kadondi requires specialized treatment for her throat injury, said an area pastor whose name and church are withheld for security reasons.

Issa Kasoono left his wife and oldest son inside the house expecting them to die, the two sources said. After Ismael escaped, he ran to a church and informed the pastor of the violence. The pastor and two elders drove to the house, discovered Kadondi and Ibrahim were alive and took them to the clinic in Nsinze, he said.

On Wednesday (Aug. 12), the pastor took them to a relative’s house in another district, he said.

The mother and her two sons put their faith in Christ three months ago, and Kadondi had occasionally been able to secretly attend church meetings. After attending an open-air evangelistic event in May in Nsinze village, Kadondi and her two sons met with the pastor. After he further explained the gospel, they prayed with him to receive Christ as Lord and Savior, he said.

“It was only during this time, when Ibrahim and Ismael are in their holidays, that Issa discovered that the three had joined the Christian faith when a Muslim neighbor informed him,” he said.

Recently converts from Islam to Christianity in eastern Uganda have been suffering persecution regularly. The wife of a former sheikh (Islamic teacher) was poisoned to death on June 17 after she and her husband put their faith in Christ in Nabuli village, Kibuku District. Namumbeiza Swabura was the mother of 11 children, including a 5-month-old baby.

In Kiryolo, Kaderuna Sub-County, Budaka District on March 28, five Muslims gang-raped the 17-year-old daughter of a pastor because the church leader ignored their warnings that he stop worship services, she said.

Uganda’s population is 85 percent Christian and 11 percent Muslim. The country’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another.

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