UGANDA: Persecution Escalates and Spreads

Sep 28, 2022 | VoM

Persecution is both escalating and spreading throughout Uganda.

Islamic radicalisation and guaranteed impunity have combined to make Uganda an increasingly dangerous place for Christian evangelists, pastors, and converts from Islam.

According to Uganda’s 2014 census, 84% of its population are Christian, while 14% are Muslim.

Despite Muslims comprising a small minority of the population, Uganda is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank. This means that Uganda is committed to promoting and defending Islam and its followers, who are growing increasingly radical and overtly confident.

Central Region

Pastor Godfrey Ssemujju oversees 130 churches in the Kiboga District of Uganda’s central region. In June and July, he conducted open-air evangelistic events resulting in 70 Muslims leaving Islam to follow Jesus Christ. Since then, fundamentalist Muslims have warned Pastor Godfrey that, unless he stops “converting our people to Christianity”, they will kill him. Pastor Godfrey fears not only for his own life, but for all the churches in the area.

On 26 June, fundamentalist Muslims demolished a church building in Rwomuriro village. On 6 July, Robert Bwenje and Ambrose Mugisha, the Assistant Pastor of Elim Pentecostal Church in Nyamiringa village, were attacked by militant Muslims after Pastor Ambrose participated in an open-air debate about Christianity and Islam. Robert died a few days after the attack. On 25 July, Muslims killed all of the livestock belonging to a church member.

Eastern Region

On 17 June, the family of 42-year-old Musa Kasadah of Maumo village in Uganda’s eastern region attended an evangelistic event in which the whole family chose to leave Islam and put their trust in Jesus.

Subsequently, Musa, his wife Asiya, and their six children started attending church. Enraged by the family’s conversion, militant Muslims threatened the church. The pastor arranged for the family to move into a temporary safe house. However, the Muslims discovered their location, and on 26 July militant Muslims ambushed the family as they attempted to flee the district.

They beat Musa with sticks and hacked at his right arm with a sword. The assailants fled when a truckload of labourers arrived at the scene, but by then Musa’s right hand had been severed. The labourers bound Musa’s wounds and rushed him to a nearby first aid clinic, where he was transferred by ambulance to Mbale Referral Hospital.

Northern Region

On 10 August, a deacon and five missionaries were travelling from Nakasongola District to Apac District, on Lake Kyoga’s north shore, with plans to plant a church in the Aduku area.

While crossing the lake on a commercial transport boat, evangelist Tonny Ankunda shared the gospel with a group of ten Muslims. Agitated and angry, the Muslims warned the Christians, “If you continue insisting that Jesus is the Son of God, then Allah will kill all of you.”

When the missionaries continued to proclaim Christ, the Muslims ordered them to stop their blasphemy and convert to Islam, saying, “or else your lives are at risk”. When the five missionaries refused to renounce Christ, the Muslims threw them overboard into Lake Kyoga.

The boat’s pilot did not intervene to rescue the five Christians, all of whom drowned. When the boat docked on the north shore, the surviving deacon called local officials who later retrieved the bodies of the five missionaries – four men and one woman, aged 27 to 52.

Sources: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, Morning Star News

Please Pray

Pray for protection over Pastor Godfrey and the churches in Kiboga District as hostility towards them turns violent. Pray that peace, liberty and security will be upheld in the area, and that those who commit violence will face arrest and justice.

Pray for comfort and healing for Musa and his family in the aftermath of the attack. Pray that Musa will experience a full recovery without infection or complication, and that Lord would heal the family’s trauma and provide for their every need.

Pray for the peace and encouragement of the families and friends of the five missionaries who drowned in Lake Kyoga. Pray that the Lord would soften the hearts of the Muslims who pushed them overboard.