Hundreds of Uganda Muslims angry over defense of Jesus as Son of God force arrest of 6 pastors

A church bell hangs from a tree branch outside a Catholic church and a school in Odek village, Uganda.
A church bell hangs from a tree branch outside a Catholic church and a school in Odek village, Uganda. | (PHOTO: REUTERS/JAMES AKENA)

Hundreds of Muslims in eastern Uganda who were angry following public debates about Jesus, among other things, pressured local police to arrest six pastors last week.

The arrests came after 70 pastors and 30 churches were allowed to hold a series of talks in Sironko, defending Christianity. Speeches included the testimony of Pastor Moses Wangaia, a popular Christian apologist, who explained why he converted from Islam to Christianity.

Christians challenged Muslim speakers, who said that Jesus Christ should not be designated as the Son of God, Morning Star News reported.

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Wangaia, meanwhile, sparked tensions after he used the Quran, the Bible and the Hadith, which are the sayings and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, to make his case as a Christian.

On Saturday, Nov. 24, Muslim leaders led 1,800 other Muslims in the area, chanting the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar,” or "God is great," and accusing the Christian speakers of having disrespected the Quran.

A church leader who asked not to be named explained the situation:

“When Muslims alleged that Jesus is not the son of God, we Christians did not pick up stones to attack the Muslims, and we are shocked that the Muslims and police officers have taken such a wild move to frustrate Christians from propagating the message of the kingdom of Jehovah God.”

The six pastors that were arrested were released three days later on Tuesday with a stern warning, a police commander identified only as Abantu said.

“After two weeks of peaceful dialogue between the Muslims and Christians, word reached our police that the Muslims were planning to attack the Christians,” Abantu revealed.

“On Nov. 23, the Muslims recorded serious allegation at our police station that the Christians were using abusive language, insulting and provoking their religion using the Quran.”

Christians in the area have said that they fear for their safety as they have received threatening texts warning of consequences of disrespecting Islam.

Uganda is a predominantly Christian country, with Muslims making up only 12 percent of the population. Christians have faced attacks for their faith in Muslim-dominated areas.

Earlier this year, a Christian pastor was knocked unconscious by Islamists, also for claiming that Jesus is the Son of God.

Tom Palapande, the 38-year-old pastor in Butaleja District, had previously held a two-week evangelistic campaign in June, which defended the Trinity and Christ as the Son of God.

Islamists were angered by Palapande's claims and began throwing rocks at him, chanting "Allah Akbar."

"A big stone hit the pastor's forehead, and the stones as well injured three other church leaders who were close to the pastor at the podium," a church leader said at the time.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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