Three Christian Family Members Slain on Christmas Day

Muslim extremists shouting jihadist slogan kill grandmother and two children.

Damaged home of three Christian family members killed in Nyabitutsi village, Uganda on Dec. 25, 2023. (Morning Star News)

Damaged home of three Christian family members killed in Nyabitutsi village, Uganda on Dec. 25, 2023. (Morning Star News)

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Islamic extremists killed a 75-year-old woman and her two grandchildren in western Uganda on Christmas Day, sources said.

The bodies of Edrine Ngwabize and her two grandchildren, 5-year-old Emoni Niwalindwa and 13-year-old Mathias Byamukama, were found inside their home in Nyabitutsi village, Kamwenge Sub-County in Kamwenge District after Muslim extremists broke into their home on Dec. 25, the slain woman’s son said.

“The attackers were shouting the Muslim slogan, “Allah Akbar [God is greater] and saying, ‘We have to teach these infidels a lesson during this Christmas celebration,’” Wilson Byaruhanga told Morning Star News.

Byaruhanga said he saw the assailants first set ablaze the farm of a church pastor that is 500 meters from his mother’s home at about 7 p.m. He rushed to warn his mother and the two children, one of them his own, to take cover. Then he returned to hide his wife, who was ill, in a safe place.

“On coming back to pick up my mother and the children, I found the Muslim terrorists were already at my mother’s house, and there was a loud bang [from gunshot] and sound from the iron sheet roof, which was so frightening,” Byaruhanga told Morning Star News. “I turned back quickly to check on my sick wife and moved her farther away but did not know the whereabouts of my mother and the two children.”

One of the children belonged to his previously deceased sister, he said.

He rushed to a nearby police station, and officers promptly went to the site to begin an operation that continued throughout the night, he said.

“Early in the morning when I visited my mother’s house, I found out that the Muslim terrorists had killed my mother and the two children, and that the house had been damaged,” Byaruhanga said.

Police had shot dead the leader of the assailants, Musa Kamusi, as he was fleeing near the house, said local councilman area Yonasani Muhwezi. Another Islamic extremist leader, Abdul Rashid Kyoto, alias Njovu, had been arrested in November, he said.

“We need security from the government to be tightened because of the great fear that has come upon our residents here,” Muhwezi told Morning Star News.

The assailants were also said to have slaughtered five goats and taken some food items from the home of the deceased.

In the same district on Dec. 19, rebels from the Democratic Allied Forces (ADF) killed 10 Christians, sources said.

The Dec. 25 killings were 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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