Uganda: Forty Christian children rescued after abduction by Islamist, “we thank God”
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Forty Christian children in Uganda have been rescued after being kidnapped by Islamists who may have planned to sell them to a militant group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morning Star News (MSN) reports. The children’s abduction is one of many documented examples of the intense persecution of Christians in Uganda.
The children, who live in Arua, in northwest Uganda’s West Nile Sub-Region, were kidnapped by an Islamist posing as the leader of a made-up Christian charity offering educational scholarships in Luwero District, central Uganda, MSN reports. Instead of taking the children where he told their parents he would, Siraji Sabiri, a Muslim, took them to a hotel and may have planned to sell them to a militant rebel group in the DRC.
Police rescued all 40 children after the pastor of the church to which the children belonged raised the alarm, MSN reports. “On February 2, an elder of mine informed me of many children from the church in a Continental Hotel in Arua town in West Nile Sub-Region,” the pastor said. “I got concerned and rang the police to check on the children because I was not involved in the whole process.” (The pastor’s name and church are withheld for security reasons).
When police arrived at the hotel, they found children aged 5 to 16 who had been booked on a bus heading to the DRC, MSN reports. Police investigations revealed that Sabiri was not a Christian but a Muslim. “The man had disguised himself as a Christian, hence, he was able to register over 40 children in the name of offering them bursaries, yet with the intention of selling them to the ADF [Allied Democratic Forces] in Congo,” the pastor told Morning Star News. “I appeal to the whole body of Christ in Uganda to be vigilant towards strangers who come in the name of helping children. We thank God for rescuing our children.”
Sabiri and another Muslim man have been arrested in connection with the abduction, MSN said.