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Uganda: Christian dies after family members beat him for leaving Islam — his cousin, also beaten, clings to life

Persecution of Christians in Uganda: here is yet another example, among very many we have highlighted here at, of converts to Christianity being singled out for persecution. Making matter even worse is the fact that any family members of Jalilu Kamutono and Ahmad Waisana who might be sympathetic to them, and the Christians who were friends and associates of the victims, can expect little help from authorities in this matter, as they are likely to be either sympathetic to those who attacked them, or afraid of incurring their wrath themselves. This is one of the reasons why Christian persecution worldwide is escalating: in all too many countries around the world, authorities tacitly approve of the attacks on Christians or actively instigate them, or else are afraid of standing up to the persecutors.

Among the Christians of Uganda are around 35,000 Orthodox Christians. Please pray for perseverance and strength of faith for them and all of Uganda’s Christians.

For previous coverage of Christian persecution in Uganda, see here.

“Christian Dies, Cousin in Critical Condition after Assault in Uganda,” Morning Star News, August 26, 2020:

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – One young Christian man in eastern Uganda has died after family members beat him for leaving Islam while his cousin, also beaten, clings to life, sources said.

The Muslim fathers and other relatives of the two men in Budaka Town beat them with sticks and other blunt objects in late July before leaving them semi-conscious in a heap of banana plantation leaves, said the critically injured survivor, 23-year-old Ahmad Waisana. His 20-year-old cousin, Jalilu Kamutono, succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 5.

“I have been spending sleepless nights thinking of my [cousin and] best friend, Jalilu,” Waisana told Morning Star News by phone from his sick-bed at an undisclosed place of refuge. “The whole of my body is aching. I am not sure whether I will get well or die and go to be with Christ.”

Waisana said he suffered injuries to his head and a kidney.

He and Kamutono, whose fathers are brothers, last year began listening to radio broadcasts of a former Muslim sheikh (teacher) who made comparisons between the Bible and Koran in defense of Christianity, Waisana said. In October, after hearing preaching at an open-air evangelistic event in Budaka Town, the two men made a public confession of faith in Christ.

Word of their conversion immediately reached their parents, who angrily chased them away from the house where both families were living by the time the cousins returned from the event, sources said. They rented a house in Mbale and began selling food items for a living.

When the government announced a lockdown to control spread of the novel coronavirus on April 1, they were unable to work and moved in with various Christian friends, Waisana said. After three months, unable to rotate to others’ homes or at church premises because of the lockdown, they decided to take chances on returning home.

“Life became very harsh, and we decided to return back home hoping that we were going to be welcome,” Waisana told Morning Star News. “At home we were questioned whether we were Christians, and we affirmed to them that we were still Christians but pleaded that we be received back. To our surprise, we were received with hostility, and the relatives arrived and started beating us with sticks and blunt objects before burying us in banana leaves.”

Their relatives were about to set them on fire when some cattle herders and Christians happened by, he said….

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.

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