Pastor Wilson Niwamanya and his 12-year-old son were on their way home to Kabale on November 21st when they were stopped by Islamic militants. They were returning after delivering Christian literature along the Democratic Republic of Congo border when four men stepped out of the bush and forced them to stop the motorcycles they were riding. Grabbing Pastor Wilson, one of the assailants declared, "This man must die for disrespecting our religion."
The perpetrators began to beat the pastor on the head with blunt objects and then stabbed his son, Simon Peter, fleeing the crime scene when other motorcyclists approached. Simon Peter died at the scene, whereas Pastor Wilson succumbed to his injuries a few days later. Another Christian worker who was with them escaped with injuries to his hand. According to his wife, Pastor Wilson had received text messages prior to the incident, warning him to stop distributing literature that allegedly discredits Islam.
In a separate incident, relatives killed the six-year-old son of a former Islamic sheikh after he refused to renounce his faith in Christ. The Muslim relatives met at the home of Emmanuel Hamuzah on November 23rd and, for two hours, tried to convince him to return to Islam. Later that evening, Emmanuel was outside his home with his son when five relatives reappeared. When Emmanuel once more refused to recant, they began to beat him; while others stepped on his son's neck, causing suffocation to the child. The attackers fled when neighbours came to help, but the injured boy died before he could obtain medical attention.
While Muslims in Uganda are a minority, there are large concentrations in some areas. Some groups have become increasingly aggressive, particularly towards those who have left Islam. For more details, go to our Uganda Country Report.
May the God of love and mercy embrace Pastor Wilson's wife and surviving children, whose hearts are overflowing with grief and loss. Please also prayerfully remember Emmanuel, his wife, and their three other children, as they mourn the horrific death of their injured child. May the Lord minister great comfort to these families in the midst of their pain, along with the blessed hope and reassuring promise of eternity. Pray that those who instigated these attacks will come to understand that same eternal hope which can only be found in the light and love of Christ.