Pastor Beaten Unconscious by Uganda Muslims After Saying That Jesus Is the Son of God
A Christian pastor was knocked unconscious in eastern Uganda during a debate with Muslims about the divinity of Jesus Christ, while another pastor saw his services forcibly shut down after Islamists became angry that some Muslims were choosing to convert to Christianity.
Tom Palapande, a 38-year-old pastor in Butaleja District, was knocked unconscious by Islamists who threw rocks at him and other church leaders during a village debate, Morning Star News reported on Friday.
Palapande held a two-week evangelistic campaign in June, which included discussions on Islamic and Christian scriptures, the Trinity, and Jesus as the Son of God. The last subject infuriated Muslims, however, who began throwing rocks at him, chanting "Allah akbar," or "God is great."
A church leader, who wasn't named, said:
"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 — Moses Balabye, Agrey Gibenya and Milton Magezi."
Palapande, who was treated at a hospital in Mbale, revealed that he has been attacked by Muslims on a number of occasions during debates.
"I was beaten up, and it was falsely reported in a local newspaper as well as the local radio station that I am disrespecting the religion of Islam. This is a calculated move to tarnish my name," he said.
Another recent attack occurred in Mazuba village, Namutumba District, where a half-constructed church was forced to stop its services.
"The church members are now living in great fear for their lives and have stopped attending church services," pastor Maseruwa Budallah told Morning Star News.
The trouble began in April, when Muslims in the area noticed that a number of people had chosen to leave the Islamic faith and start attending the Christian church.
Budallah's children began being bullied by Muslim children at school, with death threats forcing the pastor to send his family to a boarding school in another town to protect them.
The pastor was warned that he and church members who continue attending services will be killed, however, with even his relatives in another town rising up against him.
"You have refused to come back home, and we hear that you have started building a church for infidels," read one text message. "Know that Allah is going to deal with you soon, and you will not finish it nor pray in it."
Although a majority in Uganda, Christians continue to face serious attacks by the Muslim minority in the country, especially in instances where they have left the Islamic faith.
Back in May, a Christian widow revealed that her husband, who had been murdered in April by unidentified assailants, had his body dug up and mutilated, allegedly by Muslim family members angry that he had converted to Christianity.
"Word went around that Kuzaifa's body was mutilated and not properly buried," the widow, Fatuma Muluuta, said about her husband, Muluuta Kuzaifa.
"His body was not washed, several pins were inserted into his body, they dug a very small grave for the body, and several cuts were made on his corpse."