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Uganda: Muslim Extremists Attack Pastor, Son

Among the Christians of Uganda are around 35,000 Orthodox Christians. For information about the Orthodox Church in Uganda, see here.

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

“Muslim Extremists Attack Pastor, Son in Uganda,” Morning Star News, March 22, 2023:

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Muslim extremists on March 15 seriously injured a pastor and his 14-year-old son as they were preparing for an all-night prayer vigil at their church site in eastern Uganda, sources said.

Pastor John Balidawa, 35, and his son were hospitalized after a mob of Muslim extremists attacked them after 8 p.m. and destroyed their church building in Kigulu village, Mayuge District, he said.

Pastor Balidawa and his son, Gilbert Sanja, were setting up for the all-night prayer vigil of Ebenezer Christian Center when they heard stones hitting the roof of the church structure, he said. Then six Muslim extremists entered, with Sheikh Shafi Mukama ordering the father and son to leave, while other from the mob kept watch outside, the pastor said.

“When I refused to obey their orders, the sheikh and two others started slapping me and then pushed me to the floor and thereafter stepped on my stomach,” Pastor Balidawa told Morning Star News. “Others started boxing my son, who started wailing and crying for help. For me and my son to survive is by God’s grace.”

Beaten unconscious, the pastor awoke alongside his son in a hospital in Buluuba to find the church’s senior pastor, 39-year-old Gerald Kato Wakabi, standing beside their bed. Pastor Balidawa learned that the assailants took their mobile phones and destroyed them along with the church building and its more than 70 chairs, he said.

Pastor Balidawa sustained a broken leg, a broken bone in his hand, swelling in his face and injuries to his intestines and stomach, Pastor Wakabi said. Pastor Balidawa’s son suffered a deep cut on his forehead, a broken bone in his right hand and swelling of his face.

Pastor Wakabi said on March 16 he found a written note at the site of demolished church that read, “No more church in this area. This area is holy ground for Allah’s worship only.”…

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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