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Uganda: Family of Assaulted Pastor Attacked Again by Area Muslims

Knee injury of 10-year-old girl attacked in eastern Uganda on Jan. 24, 2021. (Morning Star News)

(Morning Star News) – Muslim villagers on Sunday (Jan. 24) attacked the wife and children of a pastor in eastern Uganda who is still receiving hospital treatment for a previous assault, sources said.

Nearly four weeks after the assault on pastor Moses Nabwana and his wife, Lovisa Naura, in Nankodo Sub-County, Kibuku District on Dec. 27, three area Muslims broke into their home at about 4:20 a.m. on Sunday, injuring two of their children and the mother of eight who is still recovering from the prior beating, she said.

“I heard loud noises and plates being broken. The children and I woke up,” Naura told Morning Star News. “The attackers had broken the door and entered in. One started strangling me, while another threw one of my daughters outside through the window and broke the skin on her leg.”

Her brother-in-law and his family rushed over, and the Muslims fled, she said.

“The assailants left behind a Somali sword, which I think they possibly had planned to use to rape and then kill me,” she said.

Naura said her 10 year-old daughter sustained a deep cut on her knee, and her 12-year-old daughter suffered an eye injury. Naura has neck pain and was still suffering from the prior assault, an area source said.

Previously a group of area Muslims beat Pastor Nabwana with sticks and a blunt object on his head, back, stomach and chest, and he returned to a hospital in Kumi on Jan. 15, Naura said.

“His health condition needs more attention, and preferably an Intensive Care Unit,” she told Morning Star News by phone. “I am still in great pain, and the doctor has recommended that my uterus, which is seriously damaged, needs to be removed. This will need a big amount of money.”

A church leader visited Naura and her family at their thatched-roof dwelling on Friday (Jan. 22). He said they need protection as well as financial assistance.

“She is sill in pain and needs basic assistance in the absence of the husband, the bread-winner,” he said.

So far the church has paid medical bills of about $1,000 for the couple, and the church leader said further medical bills for them will amount to about $950.

Naura had been hospitalized for five days after the previous attack, incited by mosque leaders announcing that a local imam had left Islam for Christianity. A group of Muslims beat her and Pastor Nabwana and demolished parts of their church building.

The former imam, whose name is withheld for security reasons, put his faith in Christ on Dec. 5 and on Dec 27 joined the church worship. The new Christian was given the opportunity to share the journey of how he came to faith in Christ, and when mosque leaders heard the celebration, they announced the apostasy.

The assaults 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.

Pastor, Church Member Die for Proclaiming Christ in Eastern Uganda

Relatives of slain Christians await discovery of bodies at Lake Nakuwa, part of Lake Kyoga in Uganda. (Morning Star News)

Hard-line Muslims beat and drown the two Christians, sources say.

(Morning Star News) – Christians in eastern Uganda had what seemed to be an effective strategy for bringing the gospel to Muslims on the banks of Lake Nakuwa, part of Lake Kyoga.

The Christians from Namuseru village, Gadumire Sub-County in Kaliro District would cross the lake to go fishing and, as they interacted with Muslims near Lugonyola village, become fishers of men, inviting them to evangelistic meetings there.

In time hard-line Muslims began warning the Christians to stop evangelizing in the area, sources said. The last warning came on June 21, a day before radical Muslims from Lugonyola village beat and drowned 25-year-old pastor Peter Kyakulaga and 22-year-old church member Tuule Mumbya in the lake, one of the pastor’s relatives said.

“We have discovered that your mission is not to fish but to hold Christian meetings and then convert Muslims to Christianity,” one of the Muslims told the Christians on June 21, according to the relative. “We are not going to take this mission of yours lightly. This is our last warning to you.”

David Nabyoma, chairperson of the local council from Namuseru village, said Christian friends knocked on his door at 10 p.m. the night of June 22.

“They were requesting help, saying Muslims from Lugonyola had invaded the area around the lakeside, and several Christians were reported to have been injured, including my son,” Nabyoma, a member of the Church of Uganda, told Morning Star News. “Immediately we rushed to the scene of the incident with several Christians. We hired four boats and drove to the lake and found out that two of the Christians had been badly beaten and drowned in the lake and died instantly.”

Pastor Kyakulaga, who led the area Church of Christ congregation, leaves behind his wife and two children, ages 2 and 4. Church member Mumbya is survived by his wife and 2-year-old child.

Christians gathered in Namuseru village early the morning of June 23 to plan retaliation, but local officials spoke to them, called police and cooled tensions, sources said.

Police from Gadumire, Namwiwa and Kaliro stations arrived at the lake area and arrested three suspects. Officers identified them as Sharifu Ngugo, Hassan Mwidu Gulumaire and Jafari Kadisi of Lugonyola village and took them to the Kaliro central police station, a source said.

Police and fishermen searched the lake and found the bodies that day, June 23, he said.

Several government officials, including the district police commander, resident district commissioner and other local leaders condemned the killings, the source said. Church leaders pleaded with Christians to refrain from retaliating and pray.

Hundreds of Christians, including many church leaders from Anglican, Pentecostal, Catholic and other denominations, attended a funeral for the two slain Christians on June 24 in Namuseru village.

The killings 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.

Pakistan: Muslims attack Protestant church in Sheikhupura

At least one wall destroyed and a cross broken. The culprits wanted to take back land already sold to the church. This is a case of reverse blasphemy. For Punjab lawmaker, the cross has value for Christianity and Islam. “Not only was the cross broken, but our hearts were crushed too,” said a local Christian. A group of Muslims attacked the Trinity Pentecostal Church in Hakeem Pura, Sheikhupura district, a few dozen kilometres from Lahore, Punjab. The building, built 22 years ago, was desecrated, a wall destroyed, a cross and other valuables broken. Read More

Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Kill Pastor in Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Rev. Zakariya Joseph Kurah

Rev. Zakariya Joseph Kurah

ECWA leader attacked with machete blows.

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – A pastor in Nasarawa state killed last week in Obi was buried [yesterday] in his hometown of Zonkwa, Kaduna state.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen with machetes killed the Rev. Zakariya Joseph Kurah of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) on Thursday (June 30) while he was working at his farm, sources said.

A staff member of the ECWA District Church Council in Lafia, Nasarawa told Morning Star News that he met with the council chairman and relatives of Kurah at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia, where police and others brought the corpse from Obi.

“One of them whom I don’t know but was together with the late pastor told us that they were in the bush around 7-7:30 p.m.,” said the staff member, identified only as Moses. “Two people came out and attacked them. Rev. Kurah ran and hid, but they chased him and brutally murdered him with their machetes.”

The assailants took only his phone handset before leaving, Moses said.

“We asked what type of people carried out the murder of the pastor, and the person said the killers were two Fulani Muslims,” he said.

A spokesman for the Obi Local Government Council, Habila Adokwe, told Morning Star News that the killing of the pastor was confirmed but gave no further details.

The Rev. Silas Thomas, former secretary of the ECWA’s Lafia District Church Council, confirmed that the pastor was murdered by Muslim Fulani herdsmen while working at his farm, and that his funeral took place in Zonkwa, Kaduna state today.

“He was a pastor with peaceful disposition,” Thomas told Morning Star News. “He was one of the pastors I worked with while I served as the secretary of ECWA Lafia District Church Council.”

Kurah was a graduate of Jos ECWA Theological Seminary and obtained an M.A. Degree in Pastoral Studies.

A user on Twitter who identified himself as Sam, a nephew of the pastor, stated in a series of Tweets that Kurah was killed by Fulani herdsmen in Obi LGA.

“No one is saying anything about the clandestine killings by Fulani herdsmen happening almost every day,” he said in one of the messages. “Does a life of a Nigerian mean anything to our government?”

Muslim Fulani herdsmen from Nasarawa state and Islamist mercenaries from outside Nigeria have attacked villages in neighboring Benue state, killing five Christians in December 2014. The Fulani herdsmen from Nasarawa state, with mercenaries from Chad and Niger, razed several villages, destroying homes and church buildings in the predominantly Roman Catholic Agatu Local Government Area and forcing hundreds of Christians to flee.

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 orphan-306x4601them. They are 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

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!
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Family, Church Buildings Lost in Predominantly Christian E. African Countries

attack kenya

Kenya (Morning Star News) – A Muslim in Kenya who put his faith in Christ last November has lost his wife and children, and now he fears for his life.

When his wife was hospitalized last October, Abdu Godana, 35, could not have guessed that the healing she received after an evangelist’s prayer would lead to losing her, his 7-year-old son and his 5-year-old daughter.

On the Kenyan side of Moyale, a town that shares a border with Ethiopia, Godana’s wife had received treatment for an unspecified illness for three weeks at Moyale District Hospital without any improvement when he took her home. Soon thereafter they received a visit from an evangelist with the Evangelical Christian Church of Africa (ECCA), who prayed for her.

His wife was not completely healed, but she was able to go about most of her daily activities, and a week later the couple invited the evangelist and two other church leaders to their home. The couple decided to become followers of Jesus after talking and giving thanks with the church leaders, and they began meeting at their home for Bible study and prayer, Godana said.

Early this year, Muslim neighbors reported to Godana’s relatives and those of his wife that the couple had embraced the Christian faith.

Godana’s in-laws began sending him threatening text messages: “You had a Muslim marriage, so it is against Islam to change your faith,” one read. “If you continue in the Christian faith, we shall come and take our daughter.”

In early February, Godana’s in-laws took his wife, he said. His Muslim parents distanced themselves from him, not only because they believed he had disgraced the family by leaving Islam, but because in losing his wife he had lost the dowry for her that they had provided.

Two weeks later, his in-laws returned and took away his children, he said.

His own family members are now threatening him. “Your life is at stake if you still hold on to the Christian faith,” one relative told him.

Godana has become depressed under a continuing barrage of text messages from his in-laws, including demands for payment for medical follow-up care, he said. One text read, “We have continued treating our daughter, and now we demand that you pay us the money that we have used for her treatment.”

“I am spending sleepless nights as the pressure from my wife’s family is being directed toward me,” he said. “I am also fearing for my life.”

Church Buildings Razed in Ethiopia

Across the border in Siraro District of Ethiopia’s Oromia Region, in East Shewa Zone about 150 miles south of Addis Ababa, Feb. 15 rioting by predominantly Muslim Oromo Arsi destroyed 14 church buildings, Christian leaders said.

More than 2,000 Christians have been left without worship venues after throngs of Oromo Arsi, protesting that the government was marginalizing them and that Christians were converting Muslims, burned 10 Kale Heywet Church (KHC, Word of Life) buildings and four others.

The KHC buildings burned were in Sabate with 110 church members, Loke Kecha with 70 members, Kate with 90 members, Bilitu with 350 members, Siraro, Chaticha with 200 members, Subuka with the 420 members, Shashamane with 30 members, Kenva with 150 members and Torban-Anshwa with 50 members.

Also torched were the buildings of Sabate Catholic Church with 250 members, Sabate Full Gospel Church with 330 members, Loke Kecha Orthodox Church with 100 members and Bilitu Orthodox Church with 500 members, according to Christian leaders, who requested anonymity for security reasons.

“We have been worshipping outside and sitting on the bare ground bearing the hot sun,” said a KHC leader. “We appeal to our brothers elsewhere to come and assist us. The attackers poured petrol and were chanting “Allahu Akbar [God is greater]” before setting the church building on fire.”

A month before the attacks in predominantly Muslim Siraro District, anonymous leaflets warned churches to stop converting Muslims to Christianity, said another area church leader. As demonstrations were taking place in Siraro town on Feb. 15 with anti-government and anti-Christian chants, Muslims in several villages began burning the 14 church buildings throughout Siraro District, church leaders said.

A cemetery belonging to Sabate Catholic Church was also damaged.

Police have arrested several suspects.

Ethiopia’s population is 60 percent Christian and 34 percent Muslim, according to Operation World. Kenya’s population is nearly 83 percent Christian and 8 percent Muslim, although nominalism among the Christian population is considered widespread.

Christians ‘face growing extremist persecution’ in mainly Muslim part of Philippines

 

Interior_of_the_Basilica_del_Santo_Niño

Christians in a predominantly Muslim part of the mainly Catholic Philippines are targets of extremist Islamist groups and face persecution similar to their fellow believers in the Middle East, says a missionary priest.

“The situation is a worrying one,” said Father Sebastiano D’Ambra in a interview with Aid to the Church in Need, referring to the anti-Christian attacks that took place on Christmas Day in the south of Mindanao.

In an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Father Sebastiano D’Ambra highlighted fears of radicalization in parts of the Philippines after 14 people were killed during attacks on Christmas Day.

The attack included a grenade being thrown at a chapel.

“It is difficult to establish for certain whether the violence was directed specifically against Christians, even though everything points to the fact that this was the case.

“Without doubt our brothers and sisters in the faith are one of the targets of these fundamentalist groups,” said D’Ambra who belongs to the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (P.I.M.E.) congregation.

“In some areas of Mindanao we are experiencing exactly the same thing as is happening in Iraq,” said the Italian priest who has been in the Philippines nearly 50 years and is an experienced missionary. Read More

Muslims shield Christians in Kenya bus attack

Muslim Who Attacked Ministry Building in Nigeria Attempts to Seize Property

Partially demolished building of Breadwinners International Christian Centre in Bassa, Nigeria. (Morning Star News)

Partially demolished building of Breadwinners International Christian Centre in Bassa, Nigeria. (Morning Star News)

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – A Muslim in central Nigeria who destroyed part of a ministry facility, upsetting students inside, has filed suit to seize the property, a ministry leader said.

Facing a charge of criminal trespass for the partial demolition of the facility in September, Mohammed Uduans has filed a civil suit against Segun Towobola, pastor and president of Breadwinners International Christian Centre in the Kissayip area of Bassa, 14 miles north of Jos in Plateau state, claiming ownership of the property.

“If this Muslim succeeds in achieving his plan to take over our church property, we’ll adversely be affected, as our evangelism outreach here would be terminated, and our discipleship and vocational training program would end,” Pastor Towobola told Morning Star News.

Uduans became upset after learning two years ago that the ministry was holding worship meetings at the facility near his home, Pastor Towobola said. Uduans was further incensed to learn of the ministry’s educational and vocational classes for orphans and the poor in the area, and he began laying claim to the property, culminating on Sept. 18 when he led a group of Muslims to destroy part of the ministry’s building, the pastor said.

“My wife, kids, and other students were holding classes on the premises when Mohammed and his group carried out the destruction on our property,” he said. “I immediately rushed to the church to see them carrying out the destruction. I had to call in the police, who arrested him and his group.”

Police charged Uduans with criminal trespass on the church’s property, the pastor said.

“My wife and children were harassed and tormented when I arrived at the property,” he said. “They were crying as the destruction was going on. So I had no choice but to call the police, who arrested him. The case is currently with the Grade 1 Area Court, here in Bassa town.”

Pastor Towobola said Uduans has openly boasted that he would take possession of the property by force through his government connections and wealth.

“Mohammed Uduans since his arrest and detention by the police, and after being released by the police, has boasted that he has relations in the government and the money to take possession of our property, as he said he would never allow a church near his house,” he said.

Uduans declined to comment to Morning Star News, saying only, “I cannot talk with you as the case is in the court.”

Pastor Towobola said the church bought the property from a military officer in the Nigerian Army two years ago, and that the officer was the owner of the property for seven years before selling.

The church paid 500,000 naira (US$2,485) for the property, which already had a building on it, and subsequently redesigned it to provide a worship hall and classrooms for teaching vocational skills and discipling orphans and children of the poor in the community, he said.

“We have all the necessary documents for this land, and we have presented them before the court,” the pastor said. “We have been on the property now for two years, yet our Muslim neighbor has been troubling us.”

Pastor Towobola on Nov. 26 received a summons from the Area Court, Jebbu-Bassa, case file number CU/20/15, requesting he appear in court as a defendant in the civil suit by Uduans to take possession of the church property. The court on Nov. 30 announced that a hearing was set for Dec. 17.

Pastor Towobola asked that Christians pray for his ministry. In addition to church planting and discipleship, the ministry also runs Living Waters Christian Publishing, which has published many Christian writers.

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