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Uganda: Christians live in fear of minority Muslims on quest for conversions

The pressure is increasing on Christians in Uganda, despite the fact that they make up around 85% of Uganda’s population. Among the Christians of Uganda are around 35,000 Orthodox Christians. The Uganda Orthodox Church website informs us that “Uganda is the first country below south of the Sahara on the African continent where the Orthodox faith germinated among the indigenous Africans in 1929. Gradually, the faith was echoed to many parts of the country from central Buganda to the East, North, West and beyond in the Eastern Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The government of Uganda recognized the Orthodox faith in 1946. Currently the Orthodox faith in Uganda is headed by Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga and the Metropolis is located at Namungoona a suburb of the capital city Kampala (6kms on Hoima road). The clergy consists a team of 76 priests and 5 deacons. There are over 100 communities, 41 brick and mortars churches, 17 medical clinics and one Holy Cross Orthodox Hospital.”

This is a growing Church that is in danger of being crushed by persecution. Please continue to pray that Almighty God would grant peace and safety to the Orthodox Christians and all the Christians of Uganda.

“Ugandan Christians live in fear of minority Muslims on quest for conversions,” by Tonny Onyulo, Washington Times, December 24, 2018:

MBALE, Uganda — Sleeping on a hospital bed at Budaka Health Center in eastern Uganda, 12-year-old Emmanuel Nyaiti writhed in pain as he explained how Muslim extremists attacked him for refusing to convert to Islam.

” ‘Islam is a good religion,’ they said. ‘Please convert. We’ll not kill you, and you will go to paradise,” the boy recalled.

Emmanuel is one among millions of Christians in this East African nation who face unprecedented levels of persecution from Islamist extremists.

Christians in eastern Uganda are among those in their faith who face the most serious dangers in the world, according to World Watch Monitor, a group that tracks persecutions of Christians. The charity counted at least two incidents of Muslims killing Christians as well as vandalism of at least two churches.

Emmanuel was walking home from his grandmother’s house when four men ambushed him and spirited him to a cassava plantation, where they tortured him and attempted to strangle him. One was named Ali and another was Abdul, he said. They wound up leaving him for dead.

“Ali convinced me to convert and become a Muslim, but I declined. They started pushing me on the ground threatening to kill me if I don’t accept Islam,” he said. “One of the attackers hit me with a sharp object on my neck, and I became unconscious. I remember them saying they have killed me.”

Concentrated largely in the country’s east, Muslims comprise about 14 percent of Uganda’s primarily Christian population of 42 million. But the numbers — and the clout that comes with them — are in dispute.

More than 1.6 million Anglicans and almost 800,000 Catholics converted to Islam, Pentecostal Christianity or traditional African beliefs, according to the 2014 Ugandan census, the most recent survey, which did not break down which faiths receive which converts.

Muslims say their community is growing fast.

“Muslims are 25 percent of the total population and not 13.7 percent,” Hajj Mutumba, a spokesman of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, told local media. “We have two to four wives, and we are producing about six children in a space of two to three years.”

In eastern Uganda, Islamist extremists have intensified their campaign to convert more people to Islam.

Anti-Christian feelings

Many of those extremists belong to the Alliance of Democratic Forces, a Congo-based group of Muslim Ugandans who have fought an insurgency against their country’s central government in Kampala, noted World Watch Monitor. The alliance has helped stoke anti-Christian feelings in the region while calling for Islam-based Shariah law to be practiced in Uganda….

In June, a group of Muslims attacked Christian preachers in eastern Uganda during a “crusade,” where Christians publicly profess their faith and invite others to join.

Muslims in the town accused the Christians of mocking Islam by publicly saying Jesus was the son of God.

“They became very angry and began throwing rocks at Christians, chanting ‘Allah akbar,’ ” said pastor Moses Saku. “Many Christians were injured during the incident.”

Such altercations have become increasingly common, the pastor said.

“I witnessed an incident here where a Christian woman was brutally attacked with a machete by her Muslim husband for refusing to convert to Islam,” said Mr. Saku. “We continue to condemn the incident and urge our Muslim brothers to respect other religions and uphold freedom of worship.”

Muslims dismissed the allegations and said they warned their Christians neighbors not to make provocative statements that offend them. “We have now declared a jihad against them,” said Abubakar Yusuf, 55, a Muslim teacher. “We are not going to allow anybody to despise Islamic teachings at their church or crusade. We will seek revenge.”…

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