Two separate incidents that took place last month in Uganda demonstrate the opposition that can arise after choosing to follow Christ.
On November 30th, Yusuf Kintu, a former Muslim imam from Dolwe Island, put his faith in Jesus Christ after having the Gospel presented to him. According to Pastor Andrew Nyanma, Yusuf had talked about matters of the faith several times before he repented and committed to following Christ.
Three days after converting, Yusuf's wife divorced him and left the family home, taking their two youngest children with her. Shortly after, on December 7th, he was ambushed by militant members of the Muslim community. During the attack, he was severely beaten and left in an unconscious state. Despite attempts by the two older children to help their father, and Pastor Andrew's arrival the next day to take him to the hospital, Yusuf succumbed to his injuries.
On December 5th, another imam in the Kibuku District of eastern Uganda also came to trust in Christ. Five days later, his wife became a Christian as well. On December 27th, the couple joined in a worship service where the former iman was given an opportunity to testify of his newfound faith. Members of the church were overjoyed and shouted praises to God, which drew the attention of nearby Muslims. That evening, an announcement was made in the mosque of his "apostasy."
As the leaders of the church where the new convert had testified were returning to their home that same evening, eight Muslim militants attacked them, beating Pastor Moses Nabwana and his wife Naura with sticks and blunt objects. When Christian neighbours heard what was happening, they rushed over. By this time, the assailants had fled the scene. The pastoring couple were treated at a nearby clinic, though Pastor Moses had to be transferred to hospital the next day due to the seriousness of his injuries. Naura, who requires continued treatment, is unable to afford it.
After the assault, local Muslim militants also attacked the church building, causing extensive damage to the structure and its contents. The former imam and his wife have since been moved to another location for their safety. To read about other incidents of persecution that have taken place in Uganda, visit our country report.
Pray for both Ugandan church communities as they now must cope with the aftermath of the violence and the hostility of their persecutors. May these Christians fearlessly continue to shout praises to God for the salvation of their people, while placing their trust explicitly in Him. Specifically uphold Pastor Moses and his wife Naura in your prayers, asking God to fully restore their physical health and well-being. Also remember Yusuf's children and his former wife as they mourn their traumatic loss. May these family members recognize their own need for salvation through Christ, and thus receive the comfort of knowing that Yusuf is now basking in the presence of the Lord.