NAIROBI, Kenya — Hardline Muslims threw stones at a pastor in eastern Uganda and beat him unconscious as he spoke at a funeral using both the Bible and the Koran, he said from his hospital bed.
Pastor Davidson Okirori, 39, said he was officiating a funeral for one of his church members on July 21 in Kyoga village, Mayuge District when he was attacked. The pastor of Covenant Church of God in Buwenge said the church member, Vanisha Namukasa, had died in a hospital after an accident at age 34.
“The deceased being a Muslim who converted to Christianity, I carried with me the Koran, Hadith of Bukhari and the Bible to show to the mourners the fact of the unique and powerful resurrection of Jesus as the Son of God while at the same time mentioning that Muhammad being just a prophet of Allah did not resurrect,” Pastor Okirori told Morning Star News. “It was a good platform for me to witness the love of Christ to Muslims who had gathered at the funeral.”
As he picked up the microphone to address the mourners, the pastor felt called to use all the materials to preach, he said.
“When I started mentioning verses from all these books,” he said, “I heard a young man shouting, “You kafir [infidel], stop misleading us — if you came to bury your people, bury them, but don’t use the Koran without getting ablution. This is blasphemy to our Allah.”
Some Muslims shouted, “Away with him!” while others took the microphone from him and started tearing off pages of the Bible and Christian literature that he and other Christians had brought, he said. The Muslims began throwing stones at him, the pastor said.
“They were throwing stones where I was standing, and one hit my head and I fell down,” Pastor Okirori told Morning Star News. “A Muslim man hit me with an object on my mouth, and from there I do not know what happened again. I found myself in Mulago Hospital with blood all over my body and my clothes.”
Christians outnumbering the Muslims at the funeral managed to restrain the assailants, who seized the Koran and Hadiths and took them to their nearby mosque, chanting the jihadist slogan, “Allahu Akbar [God is greater], we have won, we have won,” sources said.
The pastor was still recovering from wounds to his head, back and arms and said he was in need of prayer and medical assistance.
The 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.