Archon News

Uganda: Two Christians Killed in Church Burning, Bishop Attacked

Christians make up around 85% of Uganda’s population. There is a tiny minority of around 35,000 Orthodox Christians in that nation. Converts to Christianity and Christians who proselytize are often targeted and harassed, or worse, as we see in the attack on Bishop Amon Sadiiki. 

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

“Two Christians Killed in Church Burning in Uganda,” Morning Star News, May 10, 2022:

NAIROBIKenya (Morning Star News) – Two Christians died when Muslim extremists on Thursday (May 5) set fire to a church building in southern Uganda, sources said.

Most of the Christians holding an all-night prayer vigil had left when the structure of Holy Healing Ministry International Church in the city of Jinja’s Mpumudde ward was set ablaze at about 4 a.m., said church Pastor George Kato.

“The fire weakened the church structure and forced it to collapse,” Pastor Kato told Morning Star News. “I managed to escape with other remaining few members, but two elderly members were trapped inside, and the fire burned them beyond recognition.”

As he came out of the church building, Pastor Kato said, he found jerry cans of gas near the door.

“I made an alarm while running away,” he said. “I saw three Muslims dressed in long Islamic attire taking off. I couldn’t identify them.”

Hardline area Muslims accusing the Christians of being too loud in their worship services and prayer meetings had told them many times to remove the church building, he said.

As the building burned, Pastor Kato called police who arrived quickly, but the wooden structure was already engulfed in flames.

One of the two church members who died was identified as Jonathan Kalyecheru, 70. The identity of the second victim was unclear. The bodies were taken to Jinja Regional Referral Hospital mortuary as police investigated.

Jinja is in Jinja District on the north shore of Lake Victoria, about 80 kilometers (49 miles) from Kampala, the capital.

Bishop Attacked

Near eastern Uganda’s Mbale town, hardline Muslims on April 28 intercepted a church leader and cut him with knives after he left an open-air evangelistic event where he had debated Muslims, sources said.

Bishop Amon Sadiiki was receiving treatment for wounds on his head, stomach and legs. He was ambushed after four days of debates with Muslims in Mbale.

“On the fourth day of the debate, 11 Muslims converted to Christianity,” an area contact said, adding that as the bishop left Mbale at about 8 p.m., many Muslims were shouting at him.

Believing Sadiiki might not be safe traveling alone, organizers of the event arranged for two Christians on motorcycles, Peter Wabukoma and Moses Werikhe, to escort him. On the Mugiti-Kabwangasi road, they noticed two motorcycles with three riders following them, who then passed by brandishing knives and shouting the jihadist slogan, “Allahu Akbar [God is greater],” the source said.

The men jumped off their motorcycles, stopped them and immediately began hitting and cutting Sadiiki before he could be defended, one of the escorts said….

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