Pastor's slain body found after Muslim relatives threaten to kill him for following Christ
NAIROBI, Kenya — Muslim relatives of a pastor in eastern Uganda took him from his home and killed him for his faith this month, sources said.
Pastor Adinani Bulwa had fled Muslim opposition in northern Uganda and returned home to Muterere village, Bugiri District in January before he was killed on March 10. He was 42.
“We began preaching to the family members, and in early February four Muslim relatives got converted to Christianity, but the first-born son in the family [Pastor Bulwa’s brother] resisted the Christian faith and gave a warning that we should stop misleading Muslims to Christianity,” said the pastor’s wife, Zabiina Newumbwe. “Two weeks later my husband was invited to attend a family meeting [at his parents’ house], where he was pressured to recant the Christian faith, but he said he was ready to die for Christ’s sake.”
On March 10 at about 9:30 p.m., several Muslim relatives arrived at their home, furious and shouting, she said.
“They were saying, ‘We are a Muslim family, and Allah is our God,’” Newumbwe told Morning Star News. “We were shaken, and the children and I hid ourselves in the bedroom while leaving my husband at the sitting room.”
The group forced their way inside and forced Pastor Bulwa outside, she said.
“About 200 meters [218 yards] away from the homestead, we heard a loud wailing,” she said. “We remained inside the house. My husband did not return. Early in the morning, I went to see a Christian neighbor who accompanied me to the scene of the incident only to see my husband at a distance half naked. I could not control my emotions and shouted in a loud voice. Thereafter I fainted due to shock.”
Pastor Bulwa’s body was found with a deep cut on the forehead, a cloth around his neck indicating he had been strangled and cuts on the left foot.
Hundreds of Christians and others arrived at the site, and the pastor’s family hurriedly buried his body. Family members told Newumbwe she would also be killed if she named those who killed her husband, she said.
Besides the widow, the pastor leaves behind five children, ages 4 to 16.
In 2016, Pastor Bulwa had moved his family to Lira, in the Northern Region of Uganda, where he ran a successful business, principally maize production. On Jan. 24, 2019, the family secretly converted from Islam to Christianity, and he was appointed pastor to other former Muslims at his church.
The converts from Islam under his pastoral guidance gathered secretly, but last December Muslims saw Pastor Bulwa and his family outside the church site in Lira, and word spread that he had become a Christian.
“Since December 2022, the Muslims started threatening to kill us if we continued missing attending the mosque,” Newumbwe said. “As the threats continued escalating, my husband decided that we [would] leave Lira [and go] back to our home in Muterere village.”
The family fled Lira in January and began an evening fellowship at their home in Muterere, she said.
Since Pastor Bulwa’s death, she and her children have left their home and taken refuge at the house of someone assisting them.
“The children and I are living in great fear from the relatives – our security is at stake,” Newumbwe said. “We had to seek help elsewhere. We need prayers so that God may guide us on what to do next.”
The assault 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.