Attacks by minority Muslims in Uganda worries Christians
Violence against Christians in eastern Uganda is beginning to take an alarming trend with audacious attacks against christians becoming more frequent, a Washington Times news report says. Christians in the region “are among those in their faith who face the most serious dangers in the world.”
There have been incidences of Muslims killing Christians who would not convert to Islam and at least two churches have been vandalized, Washington Post says.
Emmanuel was walking home from his grandmother’s house when four men ambushed him and spirited him to a cassava plantation, where they tortured him and attempted to strangle him. One was named Ali and another was Abdul, he said. They wound up leaving him for dead.
Emmanuel Nyaiti, 12, said he was attacked and left for dead by muslims who wanted to force him to convert to Islam. “‘Islam is a good religion,’ his assailants told him, ‘Please convert. We’ll not kill you, and you will go to paradise’,” Emmanuel said and when he refugees to convert, they attacked and started wrangling him. “Ali (one of the attackers) convinced me to convert and become a Muslim, but I declined. They started pushing me on the ground threatening to kill me if I don’t accept Islam,” he recalled. “One of the attackers hit me with a sharp object on my neck, and I became unconscious. I remember them saying they have killed me.”
Muslims form a 14% minority of the Ugadan predominantly population. However, influence from radical Muslims and the Islamic state is influencing the radical Muslims ideologies and aggressive conversions in the region. This is fueled by the belief that Islam is fast growing and will soon overtake the Christian population in Uganda. “Muslims are 25 percent of the total population and not 13.7 percent,” Hajj Mutumba, a spokesman of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, told local media. “We have two to four wives, and we are producing about six children in a space of two to three years,” he said.
The Alliance of Democratic Forces, a radical Islamic set from Congo is reported to be the major group pushing for the Islamization of the country, “stoking anti-Christian feelings in the region while calling for Islam-based Shariah law to be practiced in Uganda.”
“Ugandan Muslims were not intolerant in the past,” the World Watch Monitor survey said. “But those who sympathize with ADF are preaching the idea of having an Islamic state in Uganda (and in a part of the DRC), and this is taking away the culture of tolerance.”
Christian preachers have been attacked by Muslims in eastern Uganda for professing the faith in Public. They are attacked for simply saying Jesus is the son of God. “They became very angry and began throwing rocks at Christians, chanting ‘Allah akbar,’”Pastor Moses Saku said, “many Christians were injured during the incident.”
“I witnessed an incident here where a Christian woman was brutally attacked with a machete by her Muslim husband for refusing to convert to Islam,” Saku said, “we continue to condemn the incident and urge our Muslim brothers to respect other religions and uphold freedom of worship.”
Muslims have however denied and dismissed the allegations saying christians have often made provocative statements that offend them. “We have now declared a jihad against them,” said Abubakar Yusuf, 55, a Muslim teacher. “We are not going to allow anybody to despise Islamic teachings at their church or crusade. We will seek revenge,” he declared.
Christians in Uganda have called on the government for protection. “We cannot continue to live in fear of preaching the Gospel and telling people the truth that Jesus is the son of God,” he said. “As Christians, we need protection from the government because our Muslim brothers are very angry when they hear the truth. But we have never abused Muslims or Allah during our preaching.”
While the Police said they are carrying out investigations on the allegations, christians insists they “cannot live like refugees in our own country where we cannot worship and preach the Gospel freely,” Saku said.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos