Muslim parents in eastern Uganda burned down their son's home after learning that he left Islam to give his life to Jesus Christ, a leading Christian persecution watchdog group has reported.
After Mohammed Nsera, a Nigerian teen who lives in the predominantly Christian village of Katende, Uganda, graduated from high school last year, his Muslim parents kindly built him a small house on the family's property as a graduation present.
According to Morning Star News, Nsera gave his life to Christ on Jan. 3 after he heard about the power of Christ's salvation at an evangelistic event and later had a dream in which Jesus appeared to him. The news of Nsera's conversion drew the ire of his parents, uncle and six siblings.
A week passed before Nsera's father learned about the news of his conversion. When Nsera's father and uncle went to the small house that they built for him to question him about the rumor of his conversion, Nsera didn't hide from the truth.
As Nsera's family is part of a hardline Muslim minority in eastern Uganda, his uncle and father didn't take too kindly to the joy he had in admitting that he did, in fact, leave Islam for Christianity.
As a result, Nsera's uncle whacked him across the back with a stick, while his father also tried to assault him. Fortunately, Nsera's quick reflexes allowed him to escape out the door without further harm.
"I could not deny Christ when my father asked me whether I had joined Christianity," Nsera told Morning Star News. "With a lot of joy I answered him affirmatively, with a yes. My uncle, who had a walking stick, hit me on my back, and my father tried to get hold of my shirt, but I managed to escape with a tattered shirt and a bleeding back."
Morning Star reports that Nsera fled to the home of a Christian friend, located about 13 miles from his parents homestead. It was there that he heard news that his parents had burned down the home they had built for him.
"I received reports that my parents, uncle and some other Muslims were looking for me," Nsera explained. "I have lost my entire valuables, especially my academic certificates."
With Nsera's family and other hardline Muslim now out to get him, the possibility is real that his family will try to avenge his betrayal of Islam in the form of an honor killing — like many other Muslim families against converts within their families.
After hearing the news that his family is looking for him, Nsera decided to flee even further from his parents' home. He is now taking refuge in a village that is over 60 miles from his parents' village, where a pastor has graciously provided him with shelter.
"Mohammed needs support for furthering his education," the unnamed pastor said in an interview with Morning Star News. "My church, which was founded recently, is still small."
Even though Christians comprise about 85 percent of Uganda, they are constantly under attack for their faith. Notably, converts from Islam frequently need to worry about their safety, since their conversion is considered "apostasy."
In June 2015, a mother of 11 was poisoned to death by her Muslim in-laws after she and her husband, a former Islamic school teacher, converted to Christianity. Morning Star reports that Namumbeiza Swabura was poisoned by her sister-in-law, who poisoned a meal that she had made for her. It is believed that the sister-in-law was likely paid to kill Swabura.
Last October, a mother of eight was dragged from her home and beaten to death by a Muslim mob after her husband converted to Christianity.
This January, another Christian convert in eastern Uganda named Laurence Maiso was beaten to death and left in a pool of his own blood. An imam, who was later arrested in connection with the murder, asked Maiso before his death, "Do you know that Allah does not want us to have a kafir [infidel] neighbor?"
"And you should know that Allah is about to send to you the Angel of Death in your house," the imam warned Maiso, according to his wife. "Please prepare to meet him at any time."