Christian Previously Beaten Lured into Lethal Trap, Sources Say

Killing follows prior attempt by relatives to burn him to death.

Mosque in Uganda. (ctsnow’s, Creative Commons)

Mosque in Uganda. (ctsnow’s, Creative Commons)

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Brothers of a Christian in eastern Uganda on Nov. 2 lured him to a site more than six hours away where they and other Muslim extremists killed him for leaving Islam, sources said.

Police from Kabango town, near Masindi in western Uganda, recovered the body of Mustafa Obbo, burned beyond recognition, after receiving a call that Muslim extremists had attacked him, the sources said. Two of Obbo’s Muslim brothers, who on Oct. 19 had beaten him and tried to kill him for this faith at their home in Tororo, eastern Uganda, lured him to Masindi on the pretext of meeting potential business partners, said a close friend of Obbo.

One of the brothers who beat him and tried to set him on fire on Oct. 19, Ismail Odwori, phoned Obbo on Oct. 28, saying he had converted to Christianity and wished to meet with him, said Obbo’s friend, whose name is withheld for security reasons.

The friend said he told Obbo to be careful, as Odwori could be setting a trap for him, but that Obbo replied that God would handle the situation. The friend said that when he and Obbo met with Odwori on Oct. 30 in Mbale, Odwori talked about Jesus but not of having converted.

On Nov. 1, Odwori suggested that Obbo travel with him to Masindi for business, the friend said.

“Mustafa accepted because he was looking for capital, because the day they beat him, relatives took all the money that he had for business,” he said.

Obbo on Nov. 2 traveled with Odwori to Masindi to meet friends whom his brother said were business partners. Obbo’s friend said that when Obbo and his brother reached Masindi, Obbo was surprised to see another one of his brothers, identified only as Hamuzata, who was among those who had beaten him on Oct. 19.

Obbo immediately called him, the friend said. As they spoke, the friend heard shouts in the background of “Thief!” probably meant to incite a mob reaction against Obbo or confusing conditions under which to leave unnoticed, and then the phone connection abruptly ended, he said.

“Later Odwori called me and said that Allah has killed my friend, and I that I should be wise and careful,” the friend told Morning Star News. “He was thanking Allah for enabling them to throw an infidel into an agony of death. Then the phone call ended.”

The friend then called a contact in Masindi who confirmed that Obbo had been killed in what appeared to be a mob attack, with other Muslim extremists helping the two brothers kill him, he said. A Morning Star News source who visited the town said people spoke of Obbo’s brothers from Tororo killing him.

Police were said to be searching for the two brothers suspected of leading the killing of Obbo, who have not since been seen in Tororo. Officers took Obbo’s body to Masindi General Hospital for autopsy.

Obbo’s brothers, father and uncles had beaten him with sticks and threatened to kill him when he returned home to visit his ailing mother on Oct. 19, he told Morning Star News last month.

“As I arrived home, my dad and uncles ambushed me, tied me up and flogged me with several long sticks and said they were going to kill me if I did not recant my Christian faith,” Obbo told Morning Star News at that time, saying he felt he was going to lose his life. “But by grace, as they were sending someone for petrol to burn me up, a Toyota vehicle was approaching the homestead. When they saw the vehicle entering the compound, they took off each in his direction.”

A former sheikh (Islamic teacher), Obbo previously had not returned home since threats and violence from relatives for leaving Islam drove him from the area in 2018. He had converted to Christianity after a pastor told him about Christ.

The killing 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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