By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Chief Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – New evidence has emerged of violence against Christian converts in Uganda where a pastor was killed, and two Christians seriously wounded for their faith in Christ, Worthy News learned.
Pastor Isima Kimbugwe, from Buseta village in Kibuku District, was reportedly killed on June 30 after life-threatening warnings from militant Muslims.
He “left Islam and surrendered his life to Jesus Christ in 2017. Despite opposition, he continued to share of the Lord’s love, leading others to place their faith in Him,” recalled advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC).
However, he was forced to leave his village after receiving threats, according to Christians familiar with the situation.
He then moved to the city of Kampala to work for a Christian organization. But as the coronavirus pandemic led to a loss of donor support, Pastor Isima returned to his home village, where he was murdered.
“On June 30th, local Muslims sent a boy to the door of the home where Pastor Isima was staying. The boy had been instructed to approach the pastor with a traditional Islamic greeting,” said VOMC in a statement to Worthy News.
“Pastor Isima refused to reply as expected and instead answered by telling the child that Jesus loves him. In response, the boy spat on the ground and recited an Islamic creed,” added VOMC, which investigated the case.
“That evening, when Pastor Isima was returning home after visiting his brother, Geoffrey Kadogo, he heard footsteps nearby. Fearing his life was in danger, he immediately phoned Geoffrey. By the time his brother arrived at the scene, the residence had been completely destroyed by fire while Pastor Isima’s body remained inside,” VOMC added.
“Nearby was a jerrycan with a note justifying the Christian man’s murder for leaving Islam.”
His wife and two children survive pastor Isima, Worthy News learned. They had been staying in another Ugandan district since the pastor was initially forced to flee to Kampala. The police have identified three suspects in the killing.
His murder came after two other Christians were attacked, including
Hajat Habiiba Namuwaya.
In February, the 38-year-old mother of three came to faith in Christ after experiencing what she called “a miraculous healing,” Christians said.
For some family members, however, her conversion to Christianity was not acceptable, Christians said. After receiving a warning from her mother that the family was planning to kill her for following Jesus Christ, “Hajat had to leave her children behind with their father to seek refuge at the home of a pastor’s family,” VOMC said.
Despite attempts to protect the Christian convert, on June 20, hostile family members “were able to track down Hajat and ambush her,”
Her father reportedly recited verses from the Koran, deemed a holy book by Muslims, saying she was no longer a part of the family. He allegedly beat her with what Christians said was “a blunt object” and apparently forced her to drink a poisonous substance.
When neighbors arrived, the attackers fled the area, according to Christians knowing her. “At last report, Hajat needs specialized treatment to recover from her injuries. The police have not been notified of the attack for fear of further retaliation,” VOMC said.
Police could not immediately be reached for comment. In another incident, 39-year-old Abudlawali Kijwalo is recovering from a machete blow to his head, inflicted by his brother on June 27, Christians said.
“The Christian man was tending to cattle in the Kibuku District when his brother, Musoga Murishid, confronted him. When asked whether he was now a Christian, Abudlawali replied, “I am for Christ.” Musoga then struck him with a machete before walking away,” VOMC said.
A village elder who witnessed the incident reportedly called for help, prompting healthcare workers to reportedly rushed to the aid of the injured Christian.
The doctor overseeing his case reportedly said: “that Abudlawali will thankfully survive with needed rest and further treatment.”
He has since taken refuge in an undisclosed location, according to Christians knowing the situation.
VOMC said it had urged prayers for the family of the killed pastor and the healing of the injured believers.
The attacks come amid concerns about devoted Ugandan Christians experiencing varying degrees of suffering and difficulties in the African nation, activists say.
Among those targeted are many former Muslims, according to Christian rights groups.
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