Former Muslim Sheikh in Eastern Uganda Attacked for Embracing Christianity

Uganda Map-compressedBUFUJA, Uganda (Morning Star News) – Muslim villagers in eastern Uganda on Nov. 23 destroyed the maize crops of a former Islamic sheikh (teacher) in eastern Uganda who was beaten unconscious after revealing his faith in Christ, sources said.

The day before his fields were destroyed, 30-year-old Malik Higenyi of Bufuja village, Butaleja District, received threatening messages on his mobile phone, he told Morning Star News.

“Be informed that you risk your life and that of the entire family if you happen to come back to your house,” read one anonymous text. “We curse you and your family. You are an apostate according to Islamic law, and you deserve to die.”

Higenyi, who along with his wife and two children secretly embraced Christ on April 16, made an open confession of faith at his church on Nov. 13. News of his confession reached a mosque in nearby Lubanga village immediately, sources said.

“Before reaching my house, suddenly I was attacked by three people,” he told Morning Star News. “They started shouting, saying I am a disgrace to the Muslim fraternity of Lubanga mosque.”

Higenyi suffered a head wound and a broken bone in his right hand.

“The attackers hit me with a blunt object, and I fell down and did not know what happened from there,” he said. “I just found myself at Bufuja health center.”

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Relatives ostracized him, and Local County 1 Chairman Walubi Mailadi supported their opposition to his conversion, sources said. Fearing attacks, he and his family have been unable to return to their thatched-roof home.

The family received Christ when a local pastor (name withheld for security reasons) visited his home and discipled him the following months.

Since Higenyi’s public confession, Muslims from Lubanga mosque have been holding meetings to discuss his punishment, and after Friday prayer meetings they have issued harsh statements against apostates, sources said.

Higenyi and his family are now without a home and have taken refuge at an undisclosed location.

“Please pray for Higenyi’s family at this difficult time, for they are emotionally troubled,” the pastor told Morning Star News.

The attacks are the latest in a series of aggressions against Christians in eastern Uganda. On Oct. 20, Muslims in Kobolwa village, Kibuku District gutted the home of a Christian family for housing two boys who had been threatened with violence for leaving Islam.

Stephen Muganzi, 41, told Morning Star News that the two teenaged boys sought refuge with him on Oct. 16 after their parents earlier in the month learned of their conversion, began questioning them and threatened to kill them. The two boys, ages 16 and 17, had secretly become Christians nearly seven months before.

On Sept. 18, a Muslim in Budaka District beat his wife unconscious for attending a church service, sources said. Hussein Kasolo had recently married Fatuma Baluka, 21-year-old daughter of an Islamic leader in a predominantly Muslim village, undisclosed for security reasons.

On Aug. 10, a Christian woman in eastern Uganda became ill after she was poisoned, she said. Aisha Twanza, a 25-year-old convert from Islam, ingested an insecticide put into her food after family members upbraided her for becoming a Christian, she told Morning Star News. She and her husband, who live in Kakwangha village in Budaka District, put their faith in Christ in January.

In Busalamu village, Luuka District, eight children from four families have taken refuge with Christians after their parents beat and disowned them for leaving Islam or animism, sources said. The new-found faith of the children, ages 9 to 16, angered their parents, who beat them in an effort to deter them from sneaking to worship services, and on June 29 the young ones took refuge at the church building, area sources said.

About 85 percent of the people in Uganda are Christian and 11 percent Muslim, with some eastern areas having large Muslim populations. The country’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another, but Christians in eastern Uganda are suffering continual attacks by non-state figures.

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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Judeo-Christian values alone quest for the truth, sanctity of life, human dignity, and religious freedom. All others don’t.

    • Biscuit

      Since you included Judeo values I just wanted to remind you of the Hebrew/OT Bible where we read in Deuteronomy 13:6-10 “Suppose your brother…comes to you…let us go worship other gods…they may suggest that you worship the gods of the people who live nearby…If they do this…do not spare or protect them. You must put them to death! You must be the one to initiate the execution…” Fortunately we do not see Judeo-Christians acting out or discussing these scriptures but I know of Christian churches that make Leviticus 20:13 “The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties” part of their weekly discussions. Why the emphasis on some Hebrew/OT scripture and not others?

    • Andrew

      The wages of sin is death but Christ has paid the price for all who are justified by his blood. Therefore there is no need for killing due to apostasy. All who recognise Jesus is Lord know this.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        It was commanded that the apostates in the Old Testament era be killed because they cause national calamities directly. It was like executing the national traitors who put the millions in physical danger. The law is carried out in most of nations to this day. The New Testament does not order execution of apostates, because Christian faith is a free conversion and staying with God’s truth is done by free choice. Other belief systems including today’s Western humanism require mankind to bend the truth and to give up some clear conscience and civility by producing massive number of innocent victims, as observed everywhere on Planet Earth.

        • Robert

          No. The reason old testament laws were so strict was to keep the Jews seperated from the unbelieving people .so they would keep the promise GOD gave in the Garden to Adam and Eve (Gen 3:15 ) because From the Jewish people would come that savior of the whole world. Jesus,. And so that from them we to could also received hIs story. Isaiah chapter 53

  • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    It’s amazing he’s alive. May God protect him.

  • R. Arandas

    Africa’s people has long been bitterly divided between the influences of Christianity and Islam…I for one hope that the latter does not win in this battle.