A 34-year-old Christian evangelist’s Muslim family beat and tied him up to be burned alive after he returned home for his grandfather’s funeral in eastern Uganda, saying, “Allah will reward them inJannah [garden paradise] if they kill” him.
Malingumu Bruhan’s uncles attempted to kill him in their home in the Nawaikoke area’s Muhira village in Kaliro District earlier this month, Morning Star News reported.
Narrating the incident, Burhan told the persecution news outlet that after the funeral on Feb. 6, his Muslim uncles requested that he visit their home. After other visitors left, an uncle, identified as Ndifakulya Musa, started scolding him.
“My uncle accused me of embarrassing them by holding Christian evangelistic, open-air meetings and debates with Muslims,” Bruhan was quoted as saying. “He accused me of being an infidel by converting to Christianity, and that Allah will reward them in Jannah [garden paradise] if they kill me.”
The victim added, “He said to me that it is now the right time for me to receive punishment from Allah, whereby I was going to be burned alive and the birds of the air will enjoy me as their meat.”
Bruhan remained silent, which infuriated his uncles. “They started beating me up as others gathered firewood, while another was sent to go for petrol because they wanted to use it to burn me alive,” he said.
In the meantime, another convert from Islam who had accompanied Bruhan to the funeral came looking for him and found one of his shoes that had come off as his uncles dragged him off to kill him.
After tracking Burhan, who was found tied up near a stack of firewood, he tried calling the police which scared the attackers and they fled. However, Burhan had already sustained injuries to his head.
This was the 11th murder attempt on Burhan, who had been ostracized by his relatives after his conversion in 2017.
While most people in Uganda are Christian, some Eastern and Central regions in the country have higher concentrations of Muslims.
The Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project estimates that about 11.5% of Uganda’s population is Muslim, mostly Sunni. Armed attacks and murders of converts are not uncommon in the region.
“Radical Islam’s influence has grown steadily, and many Christians within the majority-Muslim border regions are facing severe persecution, especially those who convert from Islam,” a Voice of the Martyrs factsheet notes.
“Despite the risks, Evangelical churches in Uganda have responded by reaching out to their neighbors; many churches are training leaders how to share the Gospel with Muslims and care for those who are persecuted after they become Christians.”