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(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.
(Morning Star News) – A Christian from South Korea arrested in Nepal on charges of “attempting to convert” was released on bail on Wednesday (Aug. 7), sources said.
Cho Yusang, a 73-year-old evangelical Christian, posted bail of 150,000 Nepalese rupees (US$1,330) after being arrested on July 23. His health deteriorated after he was incarcerated, and he had been hospitalized, said Tanka Subedi, chair of the Religious Liberty Forum Nepal (RLFN).
On Monday (Aug. 5), Subedi told Morning Star News that Cho had been released from hospital care.
“Though he was out of hospital, he was feeling dizzy this morning also,” Subedi said. “His health is still not good. He does not want to go back to the hospital, because he does not have much money left. He does not have insurance cover to pay his bills.”
In Nepal on a business visa, Cho was also charged with misuse of visa.
The charge of “attempting to convert” under Section 158 (1) of the Nepal Penal Code of 2017 calls for as much five years in jail and/or a fine of up to 50,000 Nepalese Rupees (US$445), according to Subedi.
Cho and two other foreigners working separately from him were found involved in conversion activity in Pokhara, in central Nepal, Raj Kumar KC, spokesperson of the District Police Office in Kaski, reportedly said.
Police arrested Cho for allegedly distributing leaflets and Bibles in the Barachi area of Kaski District, in Gandaki Pradesh Province, KC told the Kathmandu, Nepal-based news outlet Republica. The police spokesman said officers also arrested two Japanese nationals, Jehova’s Witnesses unaffiliated with Cho, in the Ratna area of the same district on the same charges.
KC reportedly said their arrest shows that “some foreigners do not come with good intentions,” and that they would be charged with proselytizing.
B.P. Khanal, national coordinator of Nepal for the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief [IPPFoRB], told Morning Star News that after arresting Cho from his lakeside lodging, police raided his room and confiscated some Bibles and Christian literature.
Khanal, who is responsible for inter-faith relations for the Nepal Christian Society, said possession of a Bible and Christian literature is not evidence of a crime.
“In this case the law is discriminatory, because it is not an offense to have Bibles in your room,” Khanal told Morning Star News. “The recovery of some Bibles and Christian literature from Yusang’s personal belongings is projected as an offense and as a crime Yusang committed. Anybody can have a Bible – it is not a drug or an explosive. Carrying a Bible should not be and must not be a criminal offense.”
The Nepal Christian Society has hired an attorney for Cho, he said.
U.S. Citizen Charged
Earlier, in Basgadhi of Bardiya District, police on June 21 arrested U.S. citizen Bradley Navarro Anagaran on a charge of possessing Christian literature, according to the RLFN.
When local pastor Hira Singh Sunar went to the police station to inquire about his arrest, officers arrested him as well, according to an RLFN statement. Both Anagaran and Pastor Sunar were charged with “attempting to convert,” it stated.
Anagaran was found with two discipleship leaflets designed for use within a church circle, Christian sources said.
“Apart from the literature on discipleship, police have confiscated a few pairs of reading glasses from his backpack, which means that the police did not find him distributing the literature to anybody,” Khanal of the IPPFoRB said.
The two Christians were moved from district headquarters of Gulariya to Bansgadhi police station. They were released on bail on July 3, and Anagaran has returned to the United States, but he must return for a hearing at the end of this month and every court date thereafter, Subedi of the RLFN said.
“I personally don’t know how he will be able to do that, as it is a great financial burden to travel every time for his court date from the United States to Nepal,” Subedi told Morning Star News. “The court procedures in Nepal take several years and are tiresome.”
A team from the Nepal Christian Society in Kathmandu, including Khanal, went to speak with local officials.
“We met with about 60 local pastors and mobilized prayer, as well as formed a task force,” Khanal said. “We met Bradley and Sunar inside the jail and comforted them. We met the police inspector who arrested Bradley, the deputy superintendent of police, chief district officer and the prosecuting attorney to discuss how the charges in the case could be minimized, for there was no ‘conversion attempt’ in the case at all.”
After the initial order for a week’s remand ended, police kept them in custody while extending the investigation for no apparent reason, sources said.
“Both Bradley and Sunar were being kept in a miserable condition while in custody,” read an RLFN newsletter. “They were treated as criminals even though they had not committed any crime.”
The Rev. Mukunda Sharma, spokesperson of the RLFN, was a part of the team visiting the duo in jail. He urged human rights and diplomatic officials to support them.
Khanal issued a plea for foreigners visiting Nepal to refrain from doing anything that will land them in legal trouble. He said that sharing the gospel where there are already local churches should not be taken up by Christians from other countries.
“Their role can be to inspire, educate and train local churches if they really want the bring the gospel to the people,” he said. “Let the local church in their local language share the gospel.”
As the Nepal Christian Society is taking up an increasing number of legal cases, he asked that the international Christian community pray for those accused under Nepal’s new criminal code.
An increase in persecution of Christians in Nepal began after a new criminal code was passed in October 2017, which took effect in August 2018.
Pastor Sagar Baiju, a senior Christian leader in the country, said that such incidents make it clear that government officials, police and politicians are targeting Christians.
“Unless this new law is revoked, such incidents will continue to increase in Nepal,” Baiju told Morning Star News. “When I travel to foreign counties, I carry my identity with me – and my identity is that I am a Nepali, but apart from being a Nepali, I am a Christian, so I always carry my Bible with me. How is it a crime, when foreign tourists come to Nepal to tour the country or to visit their friends and carry their Bible in their hands?”
People of other religions erect huge tents, gather in large numbers and use loud sound systems for worship, and the lawmakers do not question them, he said.
“All the schools in Nepal have their morning devotions according to the faith that the school authorities follow,” he said. “In schools run by Hindus, they make the children perform Saraswati Vandana [a common Hindu mantra] in their morning devotion, and nobody objects to it. Then why is it a crime, if a Christian school makes the children say The Lord’s Prayer in the assembly? Why are objections raised and Christians ghettoized as criminals?”
There is a need for Christians to unite and raise the issue with a single voice, he said.
“A hospital owned by a Hindu has a big Hindu temple inside the premises,” he said. “They are free to write Hindu scriptures on the walls of the hospital and nobody objects. But if a Christian hospital has a Bible inside the hospital or a Bible verse hung on any wall, we are accused of preaching our religion, and the authorities running the hospital are in trouble.”
Nepal was ranked 32nd on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
(Voice of the Persected) Our dear brother in Christ, who has suffered much on the ‘front lines’, is asking for prayer for his 19-month old daughter, Ruth. The little girl was still sleeping when his wife, preparing to bathe the children, brought a bowl of boiling water to cool down in the bathing room. The mother was tending to the needs of her son when Ruth woke up. She wandered into the bathing room and tried to bathe herself not realizing the water was still extremely hot. Sadly, she was badly scalded. see photos below
The toddler was taken to the Hospital, admitted and now in the 9th day of treatment. We are heartbroken for this dear family. Her father told Voice of the Persecuted she is inconsolable and cries continually and helplessly. “I truly feel her pain”, he lamented.
Please lift this child and her family in yours prayers. Father God, we humbly come to intercede for Your baby daughter, Ruth, who is immensely suffering. We ask for your grace and mercy, comfort and relief from the pain. Oh God, wipe away her tears and give her rest. We ask for those treating her to be led by You. We pray for her recovery and complete healing of her wounds. Father, we lift up her parents who are consumed with grief in their little one’s suffering. We pray that you remove any feelings of guilt her mother may be feeling. For you know she is a good mother, devoted to You, training and bringing up her children in Your ways. Lord, we also pray for their needs and the financial burden this brings on the family. All this we pray in the precious name of Jesus. May Your will be done and Your glory be found even in this trial.
If you would like to contribute to Ruth’s medical expenses, you can do so HERE. You may also share your prayers with this family. Please use the form below. Our team will be sure the family receives your heartfelt love and concern. Thank you in advance and may the Lord richly bless you.
PRAYERS FOR RUTH
“Please, we need prayer from God to give us direction on how to handle this delicate situation and the support for the young family of Kawanguzi, especially the young innocent children.”
Kenya (Morning Star News) – Shakira Wanyenze, a 31-year-old Muslim woman, had no idea that missing a ride back to her town in eastern Uganda from Kampala would change her life.
That day, June 17, Wanyenze decided to stay the night at the home of a relative in Kampala. She thought the relative, whose name is undisclosed for security reasons, was a Muslim. The relative told her she had put her trust in Christ for her salvation, and after a discussion that lasted late into the night, Wanyenze decided to do the same.
“After many hours of resisting the Christian faith, something convicted me that my life was heading for destruction, and therefore I need to put my faith in Jesus,” Wanyenze told Morning Star News by phone. “I was prayed for that night and had an overwhelming peace after accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior.”
Mother of four children between the ages of 5 and 9, for months Wanyenze managed to keep her faith a secret from her husband, Ismail Kawanguzi, when she returned home to Buyaga town council, Bulambuli District nearly six hours by car from Kampala.
Her husband began to become suspicious on Nov. 30 when he came home to find her praying with her children.
“My husband arrived home at around 8 p.m. on the 30th and heard me concluding the prayers using the name of Jesus,” she said. “When he interrogated me to give reasons why I was using the name of Jesus, I kept quiet.”
He was very tired and went to bed, she said.
“The following morning around 10 a.m., he repeated the same words of the previous night, and I still kept quiet,” Wanyenze said.
Her husband began slapping her, she said. After he had slapped her several times, she began screaming for help, and he took a large wooden board and struck her hand, causing two fingers to bleed, she said.
“I fell down, and he started to strangle me,” Wanyenze told Morning Star News. “Fortunately, neighbors arrived and rescued me and took me to a clinic at Buyaga town council for treatment, and I was discharged after two days.”
The neighbor who took her to the hospital then took her to a church pastor (name undisclosed for security reasons). The neighbor was later shocked to hear that Wanyenze’s husband had purchased a coffin, and rumors spread that he was planning to kill his wife. The neighbor took their four children to the church site.
The pastor has since received threatening messages from Kawanguzi, such as, “If you continue housing my wife in your house, then let it be known to you that soon I will be coming for your head,” the church leader told Morning Star News.
“Apart from such threats to my life, I am also concerned about my church,” the pastor added. “Please, we need prayer from God to give us direction on how to handle this delicate situation and the support for the young family of Kawanguzi, especially the young innocent children.”
The assault was the latest of many in eastern Uganda that Morning Star News has documented in the past six years.
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.
(Voice of the Persecuted) NIGERIA – Francis Emmanuel, a Christian and a carpenter, was attacked by a gang of young men, believed to be Muslims,with machetes and daggers at a restaurant in Kakuri, Kaduna. They accused him for not fasting.
While eating his lunch, Emmanuel claimed the young men approached him because he was not fasting. He nearly lost his right arm trying to protect himself and sustained deep wounds from a machete on various parts of his body. He also nearly lost his eye. Relaying the ordeal to journalists from his hospital bed, Emmanuel said,
“I went to buy wood to do some work. When I came back, I bought food to eat. As I was eating, about six Hausa boys came and asked me whether I was a Muslim or a Christian. I did not answer them. They asked me why I was not fasting. I told them that I am not a Muslim. Before I knew it, one of them slapped me. As I stood up, the rest came and surrounded me and started attacking me with knives. I didn’t know them. Nobody could come to my aid because of the type of dangerous knives they were carrying. They used cutlasses, scissors, and knives. I became unconscious; I don’t even know who brought me to the hospital.”
Sunny Oibe, Director of national issues of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) described the perpetrators as enemies of the people. He said,
“The attack on the carpenter for allegedly eating when Muslims were fasting goes to show the level of intolerance of some people, particularly some of our Muslims. “Even if somebody refuses to fast, nobody has the right to embark on such animalistic behavior of attempting murder.”
“We, in CAN, will ask the security agencies to ensure that this matter is not swept under the carpet. The perpetrators should be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others because the laws of this country forbid taking the lives of another. “The government should therefore live up to its bidding and bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to book.”
Mr. Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer said the government should have acted quickly to arrest the perpetrators to serve as a deterrent to others.
“It is already too late now. The perpetrators should have been immediately arrested and arraigned to serve as a deterrent to others.” source
Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian human rights lawyer now living in the U.S. shared on social media,
“A couple of years ago, a retired Christian general from the north said something that has haunted me. Speaking to an Igbo guy, he said, “if my people see you and I eating corn in my village during the Ramadan fast, they would kill me and leave you alone because we are not permitted to be Christians. When I read the story [of the recent attack], I realized things have gotten far worse in the last two years. Even non northerners are now being attacked for eating during the fasting even when they are not Muslim!”
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.
Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our Christian brothers and sisters experiencing brutal persecution.
We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!
We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on them. They have been so encouraged and thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.
Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED
Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183
If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission in Nigeria. It will be a long term project. Donations always desperately needed
Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by North Korean officials for alleged plans to overthrow the government, has been moved to a medical facility due to his failing health, his sister told supporters during a vigil at a Seattle church over the weekend.
Terri Chung, speaking through tears during a vigil at Quest Church in Seattle, told about 100 people who came to pray for her brother’s freedom and well-being on Saturday that she had been informed by Swedish officials, who represent the United States’ interest in relations with North Korea, that Bae had been transferred to a hospital within the last two weeks.
Eugene Cho, the pastor of Quest Church who has been counseling Bae’s family through their ordeal, shared on his blog that the Christian missionary was moved from his labor camp due to pre-existing health ailments, listed in previous reports as diabetes, heart problems and a fatty liver. Bae, 45 and born Pae Jun Ho, has reportedly lost 50 pounds since being sentenced in May.
“We’re terribly worried about his health. I think it has been deteriorating,” Chung said, according to local TV news station King5.com.
Chung insisted, however, that she believes Bae will return home long before his 15-year prison sentence plays out.
“I firmly believe he will come home. And not in 15 years. I hold onto faith in my God and in my government,” said Chung.
She added, “We’re hoping what little noise we’re making in this corner of Seattle will spread. In the end, it’s not up to us. We feel completely hopeless.”
Bae, married with three children, was born in South Korea and moved to the United States in the mid-80s. While his family in the U.S. lives in Lynnwood, Wash., he and his wife had been living in China, where he operated a tour company at the time of his arrest last November. North Korean officials cited evidence found in his possession at the time of his arrest, as well as a confession from Bae, to support charges that he had been using his frequent tours into the country to evangelize and encourage prayers for God to bring change to the communist regime.
Pastor Cho, calling Bae “a son, a father, a husband, a brother…and also a follower of Christ,” suggested that the missionary was charged “in essence” for being a Christian and charged “officially” for his work, messages and prayers for the walls of North Korea to come down so that the gospel would spread — deemed as an attempt to overthrow the government. North Korea, governed by a juche ideology, is resolutely hostile to any unsanctioned religion (read more about religion in North Korea).
Read full article at CP World