Muslims Beats 83-yr-old Christian Woman for Housing Converts from Islam

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An 83-year-old Christian woman in eastern Uganda continues to receive hospital treatment two weeks after some Muslims invaded her house attacked her for housing two converts from Islam.

Harriet Namuganza had given refuge to two Christian young men, 18 and 22-year-old converts from Islam.

She housed them at her four-bedroom home in Iganga, Iganga District.

The older of the two converts received a phone call on August 4 from someone who introduced himself as a pastor who assists persecuted Christians and sent them 30,000 shillings, the equivalent of about US$8.50. The money was to his phone as part of the support.

The man called again saying he plans to visit.

The older Christian said: “On September 8 at about 10 p.m., a person who said he was the pastor who had offered to help knock on the door. When he mentioned that he was a pastor, we opened only to see several men outside. We rushed into one of the rooms and hid ourselves on top of the ceiling. The attackers could not find us and landed on our spiritual grandmother, saying, ‘Let us kill her.’ Another said she was too old”.

He narrated that Namuganza pleaded with them to spare her, saying she was of advanced age.

“One assailant started beating and kicking her as she screamed for help. Another said, ‘Let us leave her – we’ll come back to look for the boys who mysteriously escaped’”.

The two young men came down from the ceiling after the attackers left.

Realising that the assailants had gone, they locked the door and made calls to friends who arrived immediately, and their spiritual grandmother was rushed to a nearby clinic for treatment.

Namuganza received medical treatment for back, rib, and chest injuries, and on Tuesday (Sept. 21) she was sent to a larger hospital in Iganga for further care.

It was reported that she and her husband converted to Christianity in 2010 at an evangelistic event in Iganga town. Her family since then has supported church workers and offered refuge to converts from Islam ostracized and/or attacked for following Christ.

Namuganza (who had lost five out of her eight children) had taken the two young men into her home on May 20 after receiving a request a week before from a local pastor. He had said relatives of the two young men were trying to track them down to punish them for leaving Islam.

Reports also confirmed that the area pastor reported the assault to the local council, and after Namuganza’s condition improves, he will discuss with her and the local chairperson whether to file a case with the police.

The pastor has relocated the two converts to another location.

The assault was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda, as documented by Morning Star News.

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.

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