Uganda

Uganda

Angered by the conversion of Muslims to Christian faith, as many as 90 Muslims broke into a Christian prayer meeting in a village in eastern Uganda, raped 15 women and kidnapped a pastor and eight other people, according to a Christian news source.

The attack took place at Katira Church of Uganda in Katira village, Budaka District, at about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 15, reported Morning Star News, which focuses on the persecution of Christians worldwide.

Two days after the attack, church members found leaflets threatening more attacks and accusing Pastor Moses Mutasa of converting Muslims. About 80 members were present when the attack took place.

Villagers said Muslims previously had thrown stones at the roof of the church to disrupt services of the 500-member congregation.

The area is largely Muslim, though Uganda’s population is 85 percent Christian and 11 percent Muslim.

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Morning Star News noted that while Uganda’s constitution provides for religious freedom, Christians in eastern Uganda are suffering continual attacks by non-state figures.

Last July, the Christian Times reported, a former imam in eastern Uganda lost his family, home and business after his family and relatives found out he had become a Christian.

During the Jan. 15 attack, according to a church leader, one of the assailants shouted, “Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity.”

Rev. Musa Mukenye, who oversees several churches in the district’s Iki-iki County, told a meeting of local officials, police and other security officers that Mutasa might have been killed or is being kept hostage, Morning Star News said.

About half of the people in the prayer meeting were locked inside the building during the attack. The assailants beat the men and tied them up while they raped the women, said a church elder who escaped.

Police showed up two hours after the attack began, Morning Star News said. When the officers arrived, the attackers fled.

The news source cited several other incident of persecution in recent months.

On Jan. 2, Muslims ambushed a church leader in eastern Uganda after a sheik they had sent to assassinate him instead became a Christian.

At a New Year’s celebration in Pallisa District, Muslim relatives of a young Muslim woman who became a Christian coerced her into taking poison.

Muslims in eastern Uganda beat Christians at a worship service on Christmas day after wrecking the home of a single mother on Christmas Eve.

On Dec. 8, relatives of a former Islamic teacher attacked his 60-year-old mother for becoming a Christian, wounding her head and breaking her hand.

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

On Sept. 18, a Muslim in Budaka District beat his wife unconscious for attending a church service.

On Aug. 10, a Christian woman in eastern Uganda claimed she was poisoned.

In Luuka District, eight children from four families took refuge with Christians after their parents beat and disowned them for leaving Islam or animism.

Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”

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