10 Christians, including toddler, killed by Islamic extremists in Uganda

A follower of the Holy Spirit Movement church performs rituals at a shrine in Gulu town, north of Uganda capital Kampala February 15, 2015.
A follower of the Holy Spirit Movement church performs rituals at a shrine in Gulu town, north of Uganda capital Kampala February 15, 2015. | Reuters/James Akena

NAIROBI, Kenya — Islamic terrorists on Dec. 19 killed 10 Christians in western Uganda, sources said.

Members of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mounted the attacks on Christians in western Uganda’s Kyitehurizi village, Kamwenge Sub-County in Kamwenge District at around 2 a.m., according to a Uganda official and local sources.

“I heard the attackers saying that, ‘The Christians will not celebrate the birth of Issa [Jesus] — we have to teach a lesson to these infidels for refusing our religion,’” said a young woman who escaped the attack.

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She told Morning Star News that she heard wailing close to her house and managed to leave and find a hiding place.

Those who lost their lives were members of the Anglican Church of Uganda, the Pentecostal Church and the Roman Catholic Church, area sources said. Enock Tukamushaba, chairperson of Kyitehurizi village, identified 10 Christians killed as 3-year-old Mary Kyomuhangi; Rossete Kugonza; Princess Ahumuza; Margaret Bunyazaki; Tugume; Esther Kurihura; Glorious Arindwaruhanga; Mesulamu; Bagiriana and Panddy.

More the 200 people were able to flee, but the assailants burned down their houses. Richard Baguma, a 35-year-old member of the Anglican Church of Uganda, said he escaped but lost all his belongings, including crops and farm products.

Originally based in western Uganda, the ADF has operated in the neighboring DRC’s North Kivu Province since the late 1990s. Considered one of the most lethal of more than 120 armed groups in the eastern DRC, the ADF in 2019 split into two factions, with one merging into the Islamic State Central Africa Province.

The U.S. government in 2021 designated the ADF as a foreign terrorist organization with links to the Islamic State.

A Uganda People’s Defense Forces spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, reportedly confirmed that ADF militants attacked the village early on Dec. 19 but gave no details.

On June 6, an ADF splinter group was suspected in an attack on a school dormitory in Kasese District, Uganda, killing at least 37 students, most of them Christians. On Oct. 17, the rebels killed a Christian tour guide along with a foreign married couple he was driving at a national park in Kasese District, which is near the DRC border.

The Dec. 19 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% of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country. 

Morning Star News is the only independent news service focusing exclusively on the persecution of Christians. The nonprofit's mission is to provide complete, reliable, even-handed news in order to empower those in the free world to help persecuted Christians, and to encourage persecuted Christians by informing them that they are not alone in their suffering.

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