Evangelist, other Christians in Uganda Assaulted

Islamist ire kindled at evangelistic event.

Hand injuries Robert Faisali Miya sustained in Aug. 11, 2023 assault in Busolwe, Uganda. (Morning Star News)

Hand injuries Robert Faisali Miya sustained in Aug. 11, 2023 assault in Busolwe, Uganda. (Morning Star News)

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Hard-line Muslims at an open-air evangelistic event in eastern Uganda on Aug. 11 assaulted a preacher and more than 20 other Christians for his teaching about Christ’s divinity, sources said.

Robert Faisali Miya, a 34-year-old father of four, was also struck with a thorny object and stomped on during the event in Busolwe, 236 kilometers (147 miles) northeast of Kampala, an eyewitness said.

On the third day of a five-day event planned by an undisclosed church from another town, Miya cited passages from the Koran as examples that acknowledge the uniqueness of Christ, and said the Bible affirms His uniqueness as the Son of God who grants forgiveness by virtue of His death and resurrection.

Muslims began chanting the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar [God is greater],” and a Muslim leader known in the area to be hard-line sheikh, Hiisa Mubaraka, rushed to the podium and pulled the evangelist down, said the eyewitness.

“Others were saying that Allah has granted to them authority to kill all infidels,” the source told Morning Star News. “Another Muslim sprayed what looked like acid, while another hit him with a thorny object and stepped on the evangelist’s back and the stomach.”

The sheikh continued shouting loudly that “infidels” could not be allowed to influence area Muslims, said the source, whose identity is withheld for security reasons.

“We cannot allow you to preach in this town or come and mislead our people here,” Mubaraka said, according to the eyewitness. “We are going to fight in the cause of Allah to kill all of you.”

He also told the approximately 20 Muslims in attendance to destroy church properties, the source said.

Christians who tried to rescue the evangelist were injured as Muslims beat them and Miya with walking sticks, while other Muslims damaged the podium, loudspeakers, microphones, public address system and keyboard, the source said.

The Christians eventually overpowered the Muslim assailants, who retreated to a nearby mosque as the event organizers rushed the evangelist to a nearby clinic, he said.

Miya, recovering at home but still in much pain, told Morning Star News that the suffering was worth the gospel opportunity.

“More than 20 Christians were injured on their heads, while others had broken hands,” Miya said. “Though our meeting with the Muslims failed, the Muslims heard the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Miya, whose children range in age from 3 to 13 years, left Islam to put his faith in Christ in February 2010.

The attack 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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