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“32,000 Christians Butchered to Death”: Muslim Persecution of Christians, May 2020

The iconic iron cross that had stood on the summit of Pic Saint-Loup, France, since 1911.

The following are among the abuses Muslims inflicted on Christians throughout the month of May 2020:

The Slaughter of Christians

Nigeria: From January 2020 to mid-May 2020, Muslim terrorists massacred at least 620 Christians (470 by Fulani herdsmen and 150 by Boko Haram). According to a May 14 report:

Militant Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram … have intensified their anti-Christian violence … with hacking to death in the past four months and half of 2020 of no fewer than 620 defenseless Christians, and wanton burning or destruction of their centers of worship and learning. The atrocities against Christians have gone unchecked and risen to alarming apogee with the country’s security forces and concerned political actors looking the other way or colluding with the Jihadists. Houses burnt or destroyed during the period are in their hundreds; likewise dozens of Christian worship and learning centers.

The report further states that, since 2009, “not less than 32,000 Christians have been butchered to death by the country’s main Jihadists.”

Earlier this year, Christian Solidarity International issued a “Genocide Warning for Christians in Nigeria,” in response to the “rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants…” More recently, in a May statement, the Christian Rights Agenda, another human rights group, expressed concern for “the seeming silence of Nigeria’s President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces has not only failed to protect the Christian communities but has remained silent over these killings. To date, no Fulani herdsmen have been arrested and prosecuted over the killings, a development that has helped to embolden them.” It is worth noting that Buhari himself is a Fulani Muslim.

Separately, the Muslim man who murdered Michael Nnadi, an 18-year-old seminarian at the Good Shepherd Seminary, confessed from his jail cell that he did so because the youth “continued preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ” to his captors. According to the May 3 report, “the first day Nnadi was kidnapped … he did not allow [Mustapha Mohammed, his murderer] to have peace” due to his relentless preaching of the Gospel. Mohammed “did not like the confidence displayed by the young man and decided to send him to an early grave.”

Democratic Republic of Congo: Muslim fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces, which earlier pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), murdered at least 17 people, possibly many more, in the Christian-majority (95%) African nation. “They fired several shots in the air,” a local said. “When the population was fleeing, they captured some people and cut them up with machetes.” In late 2019, the same group murdered a pastor after he refused to stop preaching and convert to Islam.

Attacks on Christian Churches, Cemeteries, and Crosses

Greece: Muslim migrants ransacked and transformed a church into their personal toilet. This public restroom was once the St. Catherine Church in Moria, a small town on the island of Lesvos, which has been flooded with migrants who arrived via Turkey. “The smell inside is unbearable,” said a local. “[T]he metropolitan of Mytilene is aware of the situation in the area, nevertheless, he does not wish to deal with it for his own reasons.” According to the report:

This is only the latest incident … [I]t has become extremely common for Greek Orthodox Churches to be vandalised and attacked by illegal immigrants on Lesvos….

As a deeply religious society, these attacks on churches are shocking to the Greek people and calls to question whether these illegal immigrants seeking a new life in Europe are willing to integrate and conform to the norms and values of their new countries.

These continued attacks have ultimately seen the people of Lesvos, who were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, become increasingly frustrated by the unresolved situation that has restricted and changed their lives as they no longer feel safe on their once near crime-free island.

Other incidents on Lesvos include “African immigrants ridiculing and coughing on police in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of olives trees being destroyed.”

St. Catherine’s in Lesvos, now a Muslim toilet.

Turkey: On May 8, a man tried to torch a church in Istanbul; the church had been attacked in the previous years, sometimes with hate-filled graffiti. When police detained the arsonist, he said “I burned it because they [Christians] brought the coronavirus [onto Turkey].” Discussing this incident, another report said that “Minorities in Turkey, such as Armenians, Rums and Syriacs [all Christians], as well as their places of worship, are occasionally targeted in hate attacks.”

Two weeks later, on May 22, in broad daylight, a man climbed the fence of a historic Armenian church in Istanbul and proceeded to yank off its metal cross and hurl it to the ground, as captured on surveillance footage. The man, who looks more like a Westernized “hipster” than an ardent Islamist, walks up to and stares at the cross for a while — he even looks at and strikes a pose for the security camera — before attacking the crucifix.

Pakistan: After Friday prayers on May 8, an armed Muslim mob shouting “anti-Christian slogans” attacked and tried to set fire to the Trinity Pentecostal Church in Hakeem Pura. Built 22 years ago, the church was desecrated, and a large cross and part of a wall broken. The Muslim man behind the attack had sold land to the growing church a year earlier, and now wanted it back. A Christian eyewitness said that the mob, “after attacking the walls and the cross, challenging anyone who dare oppose them, fled… Not only was the cross broken, but our hearts were crushed too.”

Separately, Muslim “land grabbers” seized, desecrated, and ploughed over the graves of a century-old Christian cemetery with a tractor. According to the May 22 report:

The Christian community there reportedly protested against the violation and tried to stop the vandalism. However, they were allegedly threatened with guns… [A]ll graves that were destroyed had crosses fixed on the top… [S]ome of the houses occupied by the Christians were demolished and people were forced to flee from their homes. Amid widespread discrimination against the Christian community in Pakistan, the properties owned by the minorities are often subjected to injustice including land grabbing and being the target of criminals. Moreover, the economic disparities and religious bias in Pakistan’s judiciary have increased the struggles Christians face to recover the lost land.

Serbia: On Sunday, May 31, two Muslim migrants entered the St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Belgrade during service and robbed several of the mostly elderly congregants. “There were two of them. They broke into the church during the liturgy, which was in progress, and they stole two purses along with three mobile phones,” a church leader said, adding:

Upon entering the temple, they split up on two sides, and after the people saw what was happening, they managed to catch one of them and take away his mobile phones and the money he stole. The other managed to escape. He took two purses, in one there were 3,500 dinars, while in the other there were 18,000, which was the entire pension of one woman. We handed that young man over to the police, while the other managed to escape. This is an insult. Isn’t anything sacred to people, such as the liturgy? Terrible.

Egypt: On May 30, 2020 — two days before President Trump recognized Global Coptic Day — Egyptian authorities demolished the only Coptic church in village of Koum al-Farag, even though it had stood for 15 years and served 3,000 Christians. According to the report:

The destruction of the church was a punishment for the ‘crime’ of building rooms for Sunday school…. When the work began, some extremist Muslims began to attack Christians.

A separate report on this incident relates:

According to an ancient Islamic tradition, or common law, churches are prevented from being formally recognised or displaying any Christian symbols if a mosque is built next to them.

The authorities decided to solve this issue by demolishing the church, which took a tractor “six long hours,” a Copt recalled:

The decision was not welcomed by the Christians in the village, so they protested by appearing at the site in possession of the documents. However, the police and some radicals began to insult and assault Christians, including women and children. The church leader received so many punches in the face and chest that he passed out.

In a separate attack in the early hours of May 16, “an air conditioning technician threw a Molotov cocktail inside the Virgin Mary Church in Alexandria.” According to the report:

Security camera footage led to his apprehension. Fortunately, no one was injured in this attack. Predictably, however, the prosecutors appear to be [pursuing] an acquittal on the claim that the perpetrator of the religious hate crime is also mentally ill. Based on precedent, it is extremely unlikely that this perpetrator will face any consequences for his attempt to torch a church.

Mozambique: Islamic terrorists attacked a monastery. The four monks residing in it managed to hide and emerge unscathed. However, the hospital they were building for a nearby village was destroyed by the armed Muslims. According to the May 18 report:

Little is known about the insurgents, and until recently there were doubts they were actually islamists, but they have claimed to be fighting for the imposition of Sharia law in the North of Mozambique…. The attack on the monastery, which included the destruction of a hospital that the monks were building in the village, is the second most serious attack against a Christian target since the troubles began. Last month a Catholic mission was also attacked, although, as here, nobody was killed. Other communities have not been so lucky, as the insurgents have left a trail of death and destruction behind them in the towns and villages they attack.

Nigeria: On May 7, a helicopter bombed and destroyed a church. The building was empty at the time; no casualties were reported. According to a local leader,

The helicopter used to hover around the area, dropping some things. We don’t know what they have been dropping but yesterday in the afternoon, the helicopter came and dropped a bomb … [The] Assembly of God church was destroyed including a nearby building…. Hours after the incident, a group of people numbering about 100 pass through the village carrying guns. Some were trekking while others rode on motorcycles. One of them was carrying a flag which is not a Nigerian flag; one other person was making some incantations in Arabic… People have fled the village… The question is who was in the helicopter dropping bomb?… We are very concerned … If it was a mistake by security agencies, they should come out and explain so as to allay the fears of the community.

Algeria: Four Muslim guards responsible for protecting a church vandalized and overturned its statue of the Virgin Mary. According to the report,

[T]he chapel of Santa Cruz built in stones extracted from the mountain of Murdjadjo where it is perched, was the object of an attempted theft… Four looters allegedly destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary by attempting to steal it. They have even destroyed other holy monuments in their path….

It was later found, however, that the chapel’s four hired guards were themselves the “looters” responsible for the desecration. The report continues:

In addition, the Christian community in Algeria denounces… the intimidation which the faithful are subject to. Many Christians have denounced the series of closings of churches in the national territory. Several evangelical associations and organizations have called for an end to “the increasing pressure and intimidation from the Algerian government.”

Iran: On Sunday, May 17, a Christian cemetery was set ablaze, just two days after the tomb of the biblical Esther and Mordecai was also set on fire on the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. Damage at the tomb — a holy site shared by Jews and Christians — was reportedly minimal. Few other details concerning the burned Christian cemetery aside from video footage showing smoke billowing over its walls are available. A Hindu temple was also reportedly set on fire in May.

France: Unknown vandals cut down an iconic iron cross that had stood on the summit of Pic Saint-Loup since 1911 and was visible for miles around. According to the May 14 report,

While Europe has experienced a growing number of acts of vandalism and profanation of Christian sites, the greatest number of such acts have occurred in France, where churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments “are being vandalized, desecrated, and burned at an average rate of three per day,” according to reports drawing from government statistics.

Although the identity of the vandals responsible for this latest outrage is unknown, it appears that Western European nations that have large Muslim migrant populations are seeing a disproportionate rise in attacks on churches and Christian symbols. According to a 2017 study on France — which has the largest Muslim population in Europe — “Islamist extremist attacks on Christians” rose by 38%, going from 273 attacks in 2015 to 376 in 2016; the majority occurred during Christmas season and “many of the attacks took place in churches and other places of worship.” Similarly, around Christmas 2016, in a German region where more than a million Muslims reside, some 50 public Christian statues (including those of Jesus) were beheaded and crucifixes broken.

Abduction, Rape, and Forced Conversion of Christian Women

Nigeria: Between March 23 and April 30, six young Christian girls and one older married woman were kidnapped. “We are saddened to report to you the battles we have been fighting even amidst the lockdown,” the Hausa Christians Foundation reported on May 4, adding that it “has been working on the following tragic incidences of abduction and forceful Islamization, despite the fact that the lockdown has limited our efforts.” The statement continues:

The usual practice is that these girls will be forced into marriage and perpetually be abused sexually, physical and emotionally. We are doing our best to rescue these precious lives but our efforts have been truncated by the current government imposed lockdown that has put everything on hold…. The simple reason for the injustice and the persecution we have been subjected to… is because of our faith in Christ Jesus.

Two of the young girls have since been rescued.

Pakistan: Another young Christian girl was kidnapped. According to a May 2 report,

On Sunday, April 26, a 14-year-old Christian girl … was abducted by a group of armed Muslim men… [T]he Christian girl’s family has filed a police report and is begging police to recover their relative…. Myra Shehbaz was abducted by a group of Muslim men led by Muhammad Naqash. Eye witnesses claim that Myra was attacked while she was traveling to her workplace as a domestic worker on Sunday afternoon…. Myra’s abductors forced her into a car and Myra tried to resist…. [The] abductors were armed and fired several shots into the air…. [The girl’s mother] fears her daughter will be raped, forcefully converted is [sic] Islam, or even killed…. [A]n estimated 1,000 women and girls from Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian community are assaulted, abducted, forcefully married to their captor, and forcibly converted to Islam every year.

Egypt: In a May 22 report, Coptic Solidarity, a human rights organization focused on the plight of Egypt’s Christians, made the following remarks:

The indigenous Coptic Christians of Egypt continue to experience increasing persecution, by the government and society…. To illustrate, at least five Coptic women, including some minors, have reportedly been kidnapped or disappeared in just the last few weeks, and Egyptian state security has made no concerted effort to recover them…. Ranya Abd al-Masih, a Coptic wife and mother of three from a town just north of the capital, Cairo… remains hidden despite protests, including from the region’s church, which laments “the total lack of reaction by the authorities.”

Hate for and Abuse of Christians

Austria: A local newspaper reported:

A graffiti that rightly causes a lot of agitation. The lettering “Christians must die” can be seen at the Traisen-Markt train station. Above it, in the same style, the words “Allach Akkbar” [sic]. The removal of the graffiti has already begun and will cost about 500 Euros.

Uganda: A Muslim father burned his daughter for converting to Christianity. While traveling with her father, a sheikh (respected elder) of the Muslim community, Rehema Kyomuhendo, 24, heard the gospel and secretly converted. On the night of May 4, while she and her father were staying at her aunt’s home, she called a Christian associate: “As she was sharing Christ with me, I was so overjoyed,” Rehema later explained, “and my father heard my joy and woke up, came from his bedroom furiously and started beating me up with blows, slaps and kicks.” He also shouted that he was “going to kill her.” He broke a gas container, lit the pieces with the unspilt fuel, and began to burn his daughter. Her cries awakened her aunt, who protected her from the sheikh. Last reported, Rehema was expected to need more than a month of hospitalization due to “serious burns on her leg, stomach, rib area, near her neck and on part of her back.” No one has “reported the assault to police for fear that her father might try kill her.”

Pakistan: In another example of abuse of Christians in connection to COVID-19, “an Islamic cleric claims his organization is using COVID-19 food aid to convert non-Muslims to Islam,” according to a May 8 report. Speaking on Pakistani television, the cleric boasted of how when a destitute Christian man came for aid, the “staff of the organization offered him conversion against food which he accepted.” The man was subsequently renamed Muhammad Ramadan, signifying his conversion had occurred during the Muslim holy month. The cleric had added that Muhammad was then fasting (which is ironic considering hunger is what prompted him to convert in the first place).

About this Series

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.  Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed in 2011 to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that occur or are reported each month. It serves two purposes:

1) To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.

2) To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Islamic Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who “offend” Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam;  theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

By Raymond Ibrahim crossposted on Gatestone Institute

Ibrahim’s writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications. He is theauthor of the recent book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Villagers Burn Home, Beat Wife of Former Muslim Sheikh in Eastern Uganda

Mbulakyaalo Badawuyi of eastern Uganda was beaten for refusing to renounce his faith, and his home was burned. (Morning Star News)

(Morning Star News) – A former sheikh (Muslim teacher) in eastern Uganda who secretly became a Christian on Christmas Day decided to tell his two wives about his new faith last month.

Marijan Olupot invited his pastor to his home in Obokora village, Obokorasub County, Kibuku District on the evening of May 14. He then revealed his Christian faith to his wives and called on the pastor to explain the gospel so that the church leader could lead his family to faith in Christ, Olupot told Morning Star News by phone.

One of his wives put her faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, and the other declined, he said.

Three weeks later, the wife who had declined left the household and told a Muslim leader of the family’s conversion to Christianity, including three children. The Muslim leader then told other Muslims that their sheikh had left Islam, Olupot said.

Muslim villagers on June 8 surrounded Olupot’s house at about 11:30 p.m. and set it ablaze, he said. Olupot, his wife and three children ages 10, 12 and 14 fled through a back door.

“Unfortunately as we were fleeing in the night, the attackers managed to get hold of my wife and beat her with sticks, injuring her left hand and back and the right leg, but thank God my Christian neighbors rescued her,” Olupot told Morning Star News. “As we were fleeing, I heard one of the Muslims, named Hamuza, calling out that the house should be completed destroyed.”

His wife was in stable condition after neighbors rushed her to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, he said. He and his family have taken refuge in the home of another pastor while she continues to undergo treatment.

“We need prayers at this trying moment, as the Muslims are out to kill me,” Olupot told Morning Star News. “My other wife is scheming for my death.”

Olupot, who came to Christian faith after a business colleague told him about Christ, said the fire destroyed valuables and other belongings in his home worth about 10 million shillings (US$2,670).

Christian Beaten, House Burned

Also in Kibuku District, hard-line Muslim residents of Kasasira on May 25 beat a Christian convert and burned his home for refusing to renounce Christ, he said.

Mbulakyaalo Badawuyi, 27, of Kasasira West Cell, Kasasira West Ward said a group of area Muslims he knew knocked on his door at about 7 p.m., and he refused to open.

“They destroyed the door and made entry, but I escaped through the rear door,” Badawuyi told Morning Star News by phone. “They followed me and got hold of me and began beating me up. Neighbors came when I screamed for help.”

A neighbour took him to a nearby medical clinic, he said. As he was being treated, he said, the same Muslims – identified as Nabutono Saida, Kulemuzamiru, Kapesa Musitafa, Ganda Amisi and Mugooda Abudallah – returned to his house and set it on fire, he said.

Badawuyi said he came to faith on Aug. 4, 2019 after a dream about Christ when he fell asleep during night prayers with other sheikhs and Muslims at a mosque.

“I fell asleep and had a dream that Isa [Jesus] told me that I was in a wrong place, and that therefore I was to go and look for His shepherds who will teach me all His holy words, then after learning go and preach those words to others,” he said.

During the dream he heard people shouting “Hallelujah!” he said.

“In the dream I also repeated the same, and this made me shout in the mosque, ‘Hallelujah!’” Badawuyi told Morning Star News. “The sheikhs and other Muslims who heard me shouting were very astonished, and one came and asked me that why are you shouting that hallelujah? I answered him that I have seen Jesus. As he called others to come and hear, I jumped out and took off, and since it was night they couldn’t get me.”

He went to a pastor who prayed for him, and he put his faith in Christ, he said.

The attacks in Kibuku District were 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.

Muslim Father in Uganda Burns Daughter for Becoming Christian

Some of the burns on Rehema Kyomuhendo, recovering in hospital in Mbale, Uganda. Photo: Morning Star News

(Morning Star News) – Unable to return to her home in western Uganda due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Rehema Kyomuhendo was in the eastern part of the country when she first heard about Christ.

In March she had accompanied her father, a sheikh (Muslim teacher) on a business trip from Mbarara District to Mbale District, 492 kilometers (305 miles) away, and began listening to Christian programing aired on an FM radio station. They were still at her aunt’s house in Nawuyo village, Mbale District, on May 4 when at 10 p.m. she called a business friend of her father’s whom she knew to be a Roman Catholic.

“She explained to me about Christ and the way of salvation, and I got convicted and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior,” Kyomuhendo told Morning Star News by phone. “As she was sharing Christ with me, I was so overjoyed, and my father heard my joy and woke up, came from his bedroom furiously and started beating me up with blows, slaps and kicks.”

Her father, Sheikh Hussein Byaruhanga Husain of Mbarara District, shouted at his 45-year-old sister who was sleeping in another room, telling her that his daughter had converted to Christianity and that therefore he was going to kill her, Kyomuhendo said.

He quickly broke a jerrican, lit the pieces with its remaining fuel and began burning her, a source who spoke with Kyomuhendo told Morning Star News. Kyomuhendo screamed for help, and her aunt got out of bed and shielded her from her father, the source said.

“She carried her outside of the room together with a Christian neighbor who arrived,” the source said. “The neighbor arranged for a taxi-van that took her to a hospital, and she got immediate treatment.”

Kyomuhendo is expected to remain at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital more than a month with serious burns on her leg, stomach, rib area, near her neck and on part of her back, he said.

“Please pray for Kyomuhendo for a quick recovery on her hospital bed,” the source said.

Kyomuhendo and the neighbor have not reported the assault to police for fear that her father might try kill her, he said.

The attack 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.

Young Christian Woman and Pregnant Convert Seriously Injured in Eastern Uganda

(Morning Star News) – A young woman who told a Muslim about Christ and a pregnant, formerly Muslim woman beaten for her new faith suffered serious injuries in eastern Uganda, sources said.

Radical Muslims assaulted Lydia Nabirye, 23-year-old daughter of a Church of God evangelist, on April 7 at about 1 p.m. near Luwooko village, Buwunga Sub-County, Bugiri District, she said.

Nabirye said she shared her faith with a young Muslim woman in early March who subsequently became a Christian. The former Muslim woman, unnamed for security reasons, received threats from her Muslim family due to her new faith, so Nabirye’s family gave her refuge in their home, where six other former Muslims are staying due to threats, she said.

“Her mother knows that her daughter is with me, because we have been close friends with her for more than four years,” Nabirye told Morning Star News by phone. “The family knows about our relationship with her.”

On April 7 Nabirye’s father, Paul Kaikiya, sent her to Bukolwa village to visit another former Muslim who was mourning the loss of a son who had died, and Muslims saw her entering their property, she said.

On her way back, Nabirye was about six miles from the bereaved mother’s home and close to the home of the woman she had recently led to faith in Christ when she was attacked by a group of radical Muslims, three of which she could identify, she said.

“They held me and started beating me up,” Nabirye told Morning Star News. “They slapped me, and others hit me with sticks, saying that they were out to kill me because I was changing Muslims to become Christians.”

An area source told Morning Star News that the Muslims ambushed, strangled and severely beat her. When she shouted and screamed, neighbors called police, and the assailants fled when officers arrived, he said.

“When I met her at her home on April 14, she was still in pain from multiple injuries – head, right eye and left hand injuries,” the source told Morning Star News. “At the moment Nabirye’s father is very fearful of a possible attack. The Muslims in Luwooko village have sworn to harm Kaikiya. The family needs prayers at this difficult moment, especially for the security and the safety of the Muslim-background believers.”

Expectant Mother Beaten

In Pallisa District in the town of the same name, also in eastern Uganda, a six-months pregnant woman in Odwarata village is recovering from injuries after her family beat her for becoming a Christian, sources said.

Sylvia Shamimu Nabafa, 27, had attended church services secretly for five weeks after putting her faith in Christ in January, but as she was leaving church on the sixth week, a Muslim neighbor on Feb. 16 saw her and reported it to her father, Haji Juma Suleiman, Nabafa said.

That evening, her father asked her if she was a Christian, said Nabafa, who at the time was five months pregnant.

“I did not respond. He began hitting me with kicks and blows,” Nabafa told Morning Star News. “He then took a blunt object and hit my right leg. I started bleeding, and the next thing I knew, I found myself in the hospital bed at Palissa Health Centre.”

She was discharged after six days at the hospital, on Feb. 22, she said.

Still unable to undertake much activity, Nabafa has taken refuge with one of her church’s elders.

“The doctor said that the unborn child is well,” the church elder, whose name is withheld for security reasons, told Morning Star News. “At the moment she needs support and encouragements as she recalls the ordeal she has gone through after giving her life to Jesus Christ. At times I find her weeping. She needs food, clothes, medication and hospital check-ups.”

Nabafa’s journey to Christ began after she heard a series of radio sermons by a pastor in the region, she said.

“The pastor preached about Jesus as the only Way, the Truth and Life, which touched my heart,” Nabafa said. “That very night I had a dream of attending a church service, and the pastor was telling me that that the only way to escape from destruction was to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Immediately after the dream I became restless.”

Increasingly without peace, she began looking for the pastor, whose identity is withheld for security reasons. She met him and two elders at the church office on Jan. 11, she said, after getting past wary church staff members.

“It was quite difficult for me to meet the pastor,” she said. “After interrogation from the watchman and a search, I was allowed into the church. I was very fearful as I narrated to the pastor and his two elders about the dream that I had had, as well as the condition of my heart.

“The pastor prayed for me, and immediately I felt a great relief from my heart, and thereafter he prayed for me to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life. After confessing with my mouth my sins and praying for the Lordship of Jesus in my heart, I was full of joy as I returned back home.”

The cases are 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.

Tonight on Persecution Watch: Iran, India, Uganda, Nigeria

(Voice of the Persecuted) Saturday, 2/29/20 – Dear Prayer Warriors, Jesus asked, “do you love me?”

“15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”  John 21: 15-17

Because we love Jesus, we come in obedience of His calling as we feed His sheep by lifting them up to the Lord in time of need!

In Iran

It’s been confirmed that Christian convert Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi is being held in Qarchak detention centre, south of the Iranian capital Tehran. It is a month today since Mary was arrested, as protests took place in central Tehran following the Iranian government’s admission of guilt in the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane. Since that time, there has been no word from Mary, although last week the Persian-language HRANA news agency.  Read more 

In India

Police find no evidence for accusations but yield to Hindu extremist pressure. India (Morning Star News) – Three Christians in northern India spent more than two months in jail suffering abuse from other prisoners, even though police found no evidence of wrongdoing and the complainant retracted his accusation, sources said. In Uttar Pradesh state’s Mau District, 23-year-old pastor Ajay Kumar, fellow pastor Om Prakash, 20, and another Christian, 62-year-old Kapil Dev Ram, still face fabricated charges after being released on bail late last month. Read more

In Nigeria

Islamic extremist militants from terrorist group Boko Haram on Friday night (Feb. 21) destroyed three worship sites and an unspecified number of houses in northeast Nigeria, sources said. Thousands of people were displaced as the militants set three church buildings and the houses on fire in predominantly Christian Garkida, in Adamawa state’s Gombi County, area residents told Morning Star News.  Read more

In Uganda

The pastor of a church in eastern Uganda faces a dilemma after receiving threatening messages from Muslim villagers last week. A large family is staying at his church site after Islamist threats for leaving Islam forced them to flee their home. His congregation is dwindling as members have stopped attending services out of fear of an Islamist attack. Read More

Dear Saints, We will pray for the dear ones affected by these atrocities, along with believers in these four nations. Lord willing we’re looking forward to praying with you, tonight.

In the love of Christ called to serve in prayer,

Nadia Dybvik, Prayer Leader for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

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Call in number: 712 775-7035

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Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own. With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers. Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. Since the passing of Brother Blaine Scogin, we thank you for your patience as we have transitioned into this new season. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today and join the team!

Family of 11 Homeless for Leaving Islam in Eastern Uganda

UGANDA (Morning Star News) – The pastor of a church in eastern Uganda faces a dilemma after receiving threatening messages from Muslim villagers last week.

A large family is staying at his church site after Islamist threats for leaving Islam forced them to flee their home. His congregation is dwindling as members have stopped attending services out of fear of an Islamist attack. Should he ask the family to try to relocate?

“On Feb. 20, I received some threatening messages that my church is going to be destroyed because of converting Muslims to Christians,” said the pastor, whose name is undisclosed for security reasons. “Some of my members have stopped attending the church for fear of their lives in a possible attack by the Muslims. Sending away the helpless family is not a good idea, but losing church members is also not good. We as a church are in a dilemma.”

Namuwaya (surname withheld), a 40-year-old mother of nine children in an area of Kamuli District undisclosed for security reasons, had first gone to an evening service at the church on March 18, 2019 after sleepless nights of unexplained anxiety. After the pastor prayed for her, she was still not at peace, she told Morning Star News by phone.

“As the church faithful were leaving, I shared with the pastor my troubled heart,” Namuwaya said. “He told me that it is only Isa [Jesus] who can heal a troubled heart, if only a person can put her trust in Him. The conviction was so strong that I could not resist. The pastor then prayed for my deliverance. After prayers, my heart was very peaceful.”

She did not tell her Muslim husband or children about her faith in Christ for three months, she said.

“I only continued praying for my family with the hope that Jesus will reveal Himself to them,” Namuwaya  said.

After four months, Namuwaya began telling her youngest five children, ages 5 to 12, about Christ’s atoning death and resurrection, and they accepted Christ as Lord and Savior a month later, she said.

Those children began sharing the message of Christ with the four older ones, ages 14 to 20, and by October 2019 all nine of her children had become Christians, she said. Namuwaya began sharing about Christ with her husband, 45-year-old Waiswa (surname withheld).

“When I shared Christ’s love to my husband, he was so furious at me and responded by slapping and kicking, which injured my rib on the left side,” Namuwaya told Morning Star News. “I was taken for medication. But I continued praying and sharing Jesus with him. After two months Jesus appeared to my husband in a vision, which led to his conversion to the Christian faith. He then stopped attending the prayers at mosque.”

Late last year the youngest child innocently told her grandfather, Waiswa’s father, that her father was attending church. Waiswa told Morning Star News that his angry father summoned him to a meeting where mosque elders and clan leaders would determine his punishment for leaving Islam. Under sharia (Islamic law), apostasy is often punishable by death.

“I did not attend the meeting, but instead we sought refuge at the church, where we have been residing since December 2019,” Waiswa told Morning Star News by phone.

Having fled his home and having lost his share of the family land, Waiswa is not sure where to go. His pastor is also in a quandary.

“The responsibility for the education of Waiswa’s family is a big challenge to the church, as well as the fears which have now entered the church for housing Waiswa’s family,” the pastor said. “We as a church need prayers for God’s protection for the church and the family of Waiswa, who are now landless.”

The case is 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.

VOP Note: Please pray for this family, the pastor and the church members.

Christian Poisoned by Muslim Brothers in Eastern Uganda, Sources Say

 

(Morning Star News) – A Christian father of four in Uganda was discharged from a hospital on Monday (Nov. 18), eight days after Muslim relatives poisoned his food for leaving Islam, sources said.

Ronald Rajab Nayekuliza, 48, had eaten food tainted with pesticide at a memorial for his deceased father in Kakola village, Namutumba District in eastern Uganda on Nov. 10, he told Morning Star News.

His wife said the poisoning struck fear in the Christian community.

“The members of the church are gripped with fear and failed to attend church service on Sunday, Nov. 18,” she told Morning Star News, requesting her name be withheld. “We need prayers so that God may guide us as we face uncertainty of tomorrow within a hostile environment of Muslim relatives.”

Nayekuliza said he had felt compelled to attend the gathering even though his brothers had killed six of his piglets two days before, part of increased opposition this year.

Six months after putting his faith in Christ in 2017, Nayekuliza had donated a small portion of land inherited from his Muslim father, who died in 2009, for construction of a church building. His four brothers began building a mosque nearby.

Since 2018 villagers have been throwing stones at the church building during Sunday worship services, Nayekuliza said.

Earlier this year, his older brother, Anus Wako, began sending him written warnings to remove the church building and to stop raising pigs on the ancestral land, Nayekuliza said.

“You rearing pigs is against the faith of our father,” Wako wrote. “We are from a Muslim family, and our father did not allow the keeping of pigs. While our father was still alive, you were a Muslim; that is why he gave you land to live in, not for the construction of the church. Our family has become a laughingstock to our Muslim neighbors.”

Early on the morning of Nov. 8, the six piglets were killed, he said.

“I was extremely shocked to wake up to find six of our piglets killed,” Nayekuliza said.

“I knew it must be my brothers; that really confirmed my earlier fears. My brothers had threatened me with witchcraft as well as receiving curses from Allah. This has made me live in great fear of my life and that of my family.”

Earlier this month his four brothers – Wako, Kalipan Waswa, Hakim Mutwabule and Dambo Magid – invited clan leaders, local council leaders, residents and all family members for a special memorial service in honor of their late father, Mwalimu Sowedi Nawandyo, on Nov. 10.

“They had planned the meeting without involving me,” Nayekuliza said. “In any case, I attended because they said it was in honor of our late father. It was a great celebration. Many people attended, and many goats and chicken were slaughtered.”

As guests were leaving the celebration, Nayekuliza looked restless, his wife said.

“He told me that he was feeling a kind of nausea,” she told Morning Star News. “Immediately he started to vomit, then followed by diarrhea, with fever and complaining of abdominal pain. We then rushed him to Ivukula Health Centre III. As we arrived at the hospital, my husband had lost consciousness.”

After admitting him to the hospital, she and another Christian on Nov. 10 reported the tainting of Nayekuliza’s food with a toxic substance related to organophosphate insecticides. They filed the complaint at Ivukula police station under the reference number 5432 /10/11/2019, and police rushed to his older brother’s house.

“When the four brothers saw the police vehicle, two of them fled,” a Christian friend said. “The police arrested two brothers, Anus Wako and Kalipan Waswa, who were released on bond after four days.”

Nayekuliza’s wife said he is still recovering from the poisoning.

“My husband is better but still very weak, with blurry vision and feeling numbness in his body,” she said. “We need prayers and more medical attention for him.”

The couple has three children, ages 12, 10 and 7, and she is pregnant with another.

Nayekuliza has been the leader of a small church of 30 members since 2017. In March 2017 a church pastor had told him about Christ’s love, he said.

“After several weeks, conviction came to me,” Nayekuliza said. “I invited him again to my home, and thereafter I gave my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.”

The poisoning is the latest of many cases 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.

Christian in Uganda Loses Children, Mother and Stepfather to Islamist Attack, Sources Say

Gaddafi National Mosque in Kampala, Uganda. (Wikipedia, Laika, ac)

(Morning Star News) – A 36-year-old Christian near Kampala, Uganda is mourning the deaths of his son, daughter, mother and stepfather, who were killed when Muslim extremists set their house ablaze seven weeks ago, sources said.

Before the radical Muslims set Ali Nakabale’s house on fire on Aug. 20 in Nakaseke, Nakaseke District about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Kampala, his wife and other area Muslims had become enraged that he and his mother had converted from Islam to Christianity, Nakabale said. He and his 56-year-old mother, Nankya Hamidah, had put their faith in Christ at an open-air evangelistic event in August 2018.

“I had just visited my aunt only to receive sad news of the burning of our house,” the distraught Nakabale told Morning Star News by phone. “Upon arriving home, I found the house destroyed by fire that burned my four family members, including my two children. On reaching the mortuary, I found their bodies burned beyond recognition.”

Killed along with Hamidah were Joseph Masembe, who had also left Islam to follow Christ and had married Hamidah in November 2018 after her husband’s death earlier that year; Nakabale’s 9-year-old daughter, Afsa Lawada; and his 6-year-old son, Yakubu Njabuga.

A neighbor told Morning Star News that he and others became aware of the fire at 1 a.m. on Aug. 20.

“We saw fire emanating from the house of Hamidah with loud chants from Muslims saying, ‘Allah Akbar [God is greater],’” said the neighbor on condition of anonymity. “Arriving at the scene of the incident, we found that the house had been razed down, killing the four family members.”

Nakabale said that the mosque leader of the Kyanja area of Nakaseke had written a letter to his stepfather, Masembe, stating, “It has come to our attention that since you got married to Hamidah, you have not been attending the mosque.”

“At this, then I realized that the Muslims were monitoring our movements,” Nakabale told Morning Star News.

Relatives first discovered the Christian faith of Nakabale and his family members in May, after he brought his young son to attend an evening worship service. The following day his son, Njabuga, told of his experience at the service to his mother, 32-year-old Sandra Nakamada. She became furious and began beating her son, Nakabale said.

“When my wife began beating my son, condemning his action of going to church, then I knew our visit to the evening prayers had leaked,” Nakabale said. “The same day my wife walked out of the marriage and left the home. We got scared because we knew that our lives were in danger. For three months, no Muslims visited our home.”

During that time, Nakabale’s mother Hamidah was caring for the two children, he said.

Nakabale, his mother and stepfather had been secretly attending the evening worship of an undisclosed church since December, without his wife and children. He said that in April his stepfather built a pork slaughterhouse near their homestead, leading area Muslims to question his presumed Islamic faith – and destroy the slaughterhouse, as pork is forbidden in Islam.

“It was on April 15 that the Muslims destroyed our slaughterhouse, following the incitement of the brother of Sheikh Jamada, claiming that Masembe was practicing prohibited acts,” Nakabale said.

Nakabale reported the deaths of his four family members to police, who have filed a case (No. SD: 32/21/08/2019) and are investigating, he said. Depressed and in mourning, he fears for his life and is living at an undisclosed location, a source said.

“Nakabale is depressed and is questioning God on the brutal deaths of his two little children,” said another source whose name is undisclosed for security reasons. “He needs counseling and prayers at this difficult moment.”

Also in central Uganda, in July a widow in was forced to flee her home after receiving Islamist threats when area Muslims discovered she was a Christian. Such incidents are the latest of many cases 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.

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