Persecution of Non-Muslims (Uganda)
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Forty Muslim with machetes and clubs attack worship service, leaving one Christian with several injuries and damaging the church building. Christians remain in fear as police seem to turn a blind eye
Eyewitnesses said the extremist mob tried to storm into World Possessor’s Church International in Namasuba at 11 a.m. as the church worshipped.
“The church members were taken by a big surprise, as this happened during worship time,” said Pastor Henry Zaake. “It began with an unusual noise coming from outside, and soon I saw the bricks falling away one by one. Immediately I knew that it was an attack from the Muslims who had earlier sent signals of an imminent attack.”
The pastor said the disturbance brought the worship service to a standstill.
“There was a tug-of-war at the entrance to the church as members tried to thwart the Muslim aggression from making headway inside the church,” he told Compass.
A member of the congregation who was taking photos of the worship service – and then the attack – was beaten, sustaining several injuries, church leaders said. He was later taken to a nearby clinic for treatment. During the pandemonium, some church members were able to escape through a rear door.
Pastor Umar Mulinde added that nearby residents helped repel the attack.
“At the scene of the incident were rowdy Muslims with machetes and clubs ready to destroy the church,” Pastor Mulinde said. “The good neighbors of the church also came in, and we were able to overpower [the assailants].”
Police arrived and put a stop to the assault, but officers did not arrest anyone, church leaders said.
“We have reported the matter to the central police station, and we are surprised that no action has been taken,” Pastor Zaake said. “So far no person has been arrested as a result of this mayhem. It is as if the police are not concerned about our security and lives.” Many in the church are now living in fear, he said, noting that last Sunday (Nov. 8), attendance decreased from 250 to 100 people.
“Since the attack we have been receiving a lot of threats from the Muslims,” Pastor Zaake said. “There is a conspiracy that we can’t understand. This trend really gives me sleepless nights.”
Area Muslims have long opposed the existence of the church in Namasuba, complaining that church members try to convert area Muslims. Christian sources said the initial pretext for damaging the church building was that its outdoor stairway encroached on the alley; the estimated US$535 (1 million Uganda shillings) in damages were limited to the stairway. The sources said that when the complaint of the stairway encroaching on the alley fell on deaf ears, local Muslim and community leaders criticized the church for making too much noise.
Namasuba is predominantly Islamic, with some estimates of Muslim adherents going as high as 80 percent of the population.
Pastor Zaake said area Muslims have been holding meetings at night, which he suspects concern plans to paralyze Christian activities.
“It looks like they are planning for another attack, especially in light of the threatening messages I have been receiving on my mobile phone from anonymous senders,” a worried Pastor Zaake told Compass by phone.
The church has been meeting in Namasuba since March. It is located four kilometers from Kampala on a quarter-acre parcel.
Although the Ugandan constitution guarantees religious freedom, authorities hardly prosecute Muslim attacks against Christians, church leaders said.“The police silence on the whole issue is worrying and leaves a lot to be desired,” Pastor Zaake said.
Compass Direct, November 11, 2009
Evangelist assaulted and barely escapes with his life after Muslims chanting “Allahu Akbar" attack him; another pastor survives assassination attempt by Muslims during a gospel outreach, has his car smashed after he flees
The assailants vandalized his car, smashing all the windshields, he added.
In 2009, evangelist Yazid Muwanguzi was assaulted in Nakaloke, in Mbale district, barely escaping with his life after Muslims attacked chanting “Allahu Akbar [Arabic for “God is greater”], Serwadda said.“But some Christians were severely injured,” he said.
Compass Direct, February 28, 2012
Muslim couple has sex inside church sanctuary in Entebbe
The prosecution alleges that Abbasi Kigongo and Aisha Namazzi were found having sex near the altar of Kigungu Miracle Centre church in Uganda’s capital on May 14.
The charge sheet says that “the duo willfully decided to have sex in the church with intentions of insulting a religion. That is unlawful.” The charge sheet was obtained from the Entebbe magistrate’s office Tuesday.
The pair is scheduled to reappear in court June 22. The prosecution alleges that a churchgoer near the scene heard strange loud noises in the church, investigated the situation, and found the couple having sex.An official at the magistrate’s office said if found guilty, the couple could be subject to the Ugandan penal code, which says that “insulting a religion attracts a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment.”
Peace FM Online, June 17, 2010
Pastor, and friend of ex-Muslim pastor who was disfigured and blinded in an acid attack following a Christmas Eve church service, is ambushed and shot at by Muslims for the second time
Serwadda, who has been attacked by Islamic extremists before, told Compass he was not sure how many began firing guns at his car at 10:30 p.m.
“I only heard several voices as I dropped down when the windshield of my vehicle got broken,” said Serwadda, who was unhurt in the attack. “It could be the same group [that attacked Mulinde]. It seems it’s the same network, because after attacking Bishop Mulinde they threw down letters at the Gospel Life Church International there threatening to attack other preachers like him.”
The attack took place on Tirinyi Road, between Mbale and Kamonkole, he said. Three other Christians were with him at the time. Since the Feb. 4 attack, the only security precaution he has taken was to report the incident at Iganga police station, he said.
Serwadda said there seems to be a new wave of persecution against Christians in Uganda. Besides Mulinde, also attacked last year were church leaders Hassan Muwanguzi and Hassan Sharif Lubenga, he said, and there were two other serious incidents, one in 2010 and one in 2009.
. . .
Compass Direct, February 28, 2012