Woman Survives Attempt on Her Life for Becoming Christian

Brother brandishes knife and spear shouting jihadist slogan, she says.

Harriet Nanzala rests alongside her daughter in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

Harriet Nanzala rests alongside her daughter in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – The Muslim brother of a woman in eastern Uganda attacked her with a knife and spear on Aug. 8 after discovering she was a Christian, the mother of two said.

In a village near Kasasira, Kibuku District undisclosed for security reasons, Harriet Nanzala said she had kept her faith secret for more than 20 years, but her brother, Kowa Mugooda, became suspicious on Aug. 6.

“My brother found me reading the Bible and began questioning me, whether I had converted to Christianity,” Nanzala told Morning Star News. “I kept quiet, and he left, shaking his head in disbelief.”

Over the next two days, he continued pressuring her to say whether she was a Christian, but she remained silent, said Nanzala, who left her Muslim husband after converting more than 20 years ago and lives with her two daughters while caring for her aging mother.

Mugooda showed up at her home at 10 a.m. with a knife and a long spear shouting the jihadist slogan, “Allahu Akbar [Allah is Greater],” she said.

“He began destroying part of the door. I started running away to save my life,” she said. “My brother followed me as I continued shouting for help, but unfortunately he hit me with the sharp knife on my leg.”

A photo obtained by Morning Star News shows Nanzala sustained a deep wound on her ankle.

Neighbors soon arrived, including the area chairperson, who called Kasasira police. Officer Afande Hire responded quickly and rescued her, Nanzala said. As police took Mugooda away, he was shouting that he would attack again, Hire said.

“After my release, I will kill Harriet for renouncing Islam, the religion of Allah,” Mugooda said, according to Hire.

Police have charged Mugooda with threatening violence, an area source said.

“We are now living in great fear of attack if my brother is released on bail,” Nanzala said. “We need prayer.”

The assault 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.

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