NAIROBI (Morning Star News) – Muslims furious that an Islamic leader and his wife put their faith in Christ destroyed a pastor’s house and church building in eastern Uganda on May 6, sources said.
After Sheikh Musyoya Anasi and his wife accepted Christ the morning of May 6, that same afternoon Muslims wielding machetes and clubs in Malakachomo village, Kibuku District burned and demolished the Malakachomo Revival Church of God building and the home of Pastor Wilberforce Naaya, the pastor said.
Church members had visited the home of Anasi at 9 a.m. and prayed for his wife after learning she had been sick for two years. After prayer for healing, Anasi said, she immediately rose and asked for food.
“She had been suffering from acute pain in her throat that made her not able to swallow dry food, as well as from an inflamed breast – she could only take liquid food,” Anasi told Morning Star News. “After the prayers, she requested some cooked bananas, which was prepared and eaten with ease. The breast inflammation was reduced. These miracles led me and my wife to give our lives to Jesus as Lord and Savior.”
Muslim and Christian neighbors overheard their jubilation and came to see what was taking place at the sheikh’s house.
“A few members from the mosque arrived, and also Christians, and I explained to them what had happened in the presence of the evangelistic team from the church,” Anasi said. “After having tea, they left.”
He later went to the church for afternoon worship, and at 4 p.m. worshipers saw a Muslim mob in the distance, said Pastor Naaya.
“They were carrying machetes, clubs, sticks and marching towards our church building while chanting ‘Allah akbar! Allah akbar! Allah akbar! [God is greater]’ slogan,” Pastor Naaya told Morning Star News. “We quickly left the church, because we knew we were in danger for having a sheikh pray with us and quickly rang the police.”
A Christian neighbor who had been among the visitors to Anasi’s home to hear why he and his wife were celebrating said that the Muslim visitors had gone to the mosque to inform the imam.
“As we left the home of the sheikh, some of my Muslim neighbors were not happy about the conversion of the sheikh and the wife to Christianity,” said the church member, whose name is withheld. “Some were even saying that they were going to report the incident in the mosque, since it was a Friday prayer day for the Muslims.”
An hour after seeing the Muslim mob in the distance, the pastor and others saw smoke rising from the church building.
“We knew that the Muslims had started burning it,” Pastor Naaya said. “After one hour the police arrived at the scene of the incident, but the church structure was already burned. The police managed to arrest a few attackers and take them to the police station.”
The assailants demolished the church building as well as his house, he said.
Several Muslims were detained on suspicion of destruction of religious property.
The attack was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.
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.