Muslim Relatives of New Christian in Eastern Uganda Attack Him with Hot Oil

Assault comes a week after converting.

Burns on Gobera Bashir’s leg from attack my Muslim relatives. (Morning Star News)

Burns on Gobera Bashir’s leg and hand from attack by Muslim relatives. (Morning Star News)

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) –  A week after a young Muslim in eastern Uganda put his faith in Christ, relatives attacked him with hot cooking oil, sources said.

Gobera Bashir, 27, is still in pain with burns on 40 percent of his body after the assailants attacked him the night of March 10. Bashir, from Kakoli village, Naboa Sub-County in Budaka District, had received Christ as Lord and Savior the previous Sunday (March 4) when he accompanied a friend to a church in another village (undisclosed for security reasons), he said.

A pastor gave him a Bible and counseled him before he left.

“Be cautious when reading the Bible, since your family is a Muslim family,” the pastor told him after praying for him, Bashir told Morning Star News.

Four days later he was reading the Bible in his room when his younger sister entered.

“Why are you reading the Bible? You know our family only reads the Koran,” she said, according to Bashir.

He told his sister that he was just reading the Bible to gain knowledge. Soon word spread that he had a Bible, and on March 10 at about 9:30 p.m. a group of people knocked on the door of his house.

He refused to open the door, he said, but they forced their way in.

“As they entered the house, they found me in the sitting room and began tying my arms and legs with robes and shouting, ‘Shame! Shame! You are bringing a bad omen to the family with your bad Christian religion. Our family is a Muslim family,’” he told Morning Star News. “There and then one of them poured a hot liquid from a thermos flask on me, and then they dragged me out of the house.”

They took him to a nearby swamp, he said.

“As they pulled me, I felt a lot of pain and screamed for help as one of the attackers blocked my mouth, and there I lost consciousness,” Bashir said. “I only gained consciousness around midnight.”

Christians from a nearby house surrounded him when he came to in the swamp, and they took him in, he said.

The following day, Bashir was taken to a Naboa health center, where he received treatment for four days, and then a Christian widow and her grown children took him into their home.

The woman, whose name is withheld for security reasons, told Morning Star News that doctors have suggested he be taken to a specialized hospital for further treatment.

“Bashir has wounds all over his body, and his clothes have stains from an oily substance, suggesting that what was poured on him is a kind of oil,” she said. “He sleeps under very strong pain killers, hence he spends sleepless nights. The burns cover about 40 percent of his body.”

Most of the burns are on his legs, buttocks and hands as the assailants forced him to sit on hot cooking oil, she said.

Initially Bashir didn’t recognize the assailants as their faces were covered, but he heard one of them calling another Paata, his uncle’s name, and Bashir determined that at least some of them were relatives, he said.

Two days after being discharged from the health center, family members discovered the home where he had taken refuge, and he was taken to another location.

“Please pray for quick recovery for Bashir, as some of the skin burns are rotting with a very bad smell,” a local source said. “He needs urgent attention and specialized treatment, which might be very costly.”

A source from another village visited Bashir on Thursday (March 22) and confirmed that his burns still require urgent medical care.

Bashir has not reported the attack to police as that would expose those hiding him to attacks from his immediate family and other relatives, sources said.

In January another Christian in eastern Uganda, Munabi Abudallah, lost his wife and seven children less than a day after putting his faith in Christ. In another village in eastern Uganda, a widowed mother of five was poisoned on Christmas Day for converting to Christianity.

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 many concentrated in the eastern part of the country.

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