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Ugandan pastor ambushed, killed by suspected Muslim radicals after radio broadcast

Ugandan pastor ambushed, killed by suspected Muslim radicals after radio broadcast

A church bell hangs from a tree brunch outside a catholic church and a school in Odek village, north of Uganda capital Kampala, February 14, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/James Akena)

A Christian pastor was reportedly killed in northern Uganda at the end of October after he compared Christianity and Islam during his radio broadcast. 

Pastor David Omara, the father of eight and pastor of Christian Church Center, was beaten and strangled around 9 p.m. on Oct. 31 after finishing a broadcast in the town of Aduku, according to his son, Simon Okut.

Okut spoke with Morning Star News, a nonprofit that regularly reports on global Christian persecution. He explained that after his father finished preaching, he was reached on the telephone by someone who voiced appreciation for his preaching and requested that the pastor meet him and some of his friends. 

Okut said he and his father left the radio station and went to a meet-up location. 

“As we arrived at the said place, there came out of the bush six people dressed in Islamic attire, and they started strangling and beating my father with blunt objects,” the son was quoted as saying. 

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Okut went on to say that one of the assailants told his father that he “ought to die for using the Quran and saying Allah is not God but an evil god collaborating with satanic powers.”

“As they were hitting my father with blunt objects and strangling him, I fled to save my life,” he added. “Two attackers ran after me but could not get hold of me.”

According to the outlet, the pastor is survived by his wife and eight children, who range from 10 to 30 years old.

One church leader in the area told Morning Star News that the community needs prayer and financial support for the pastor’s family. 

The pastor was reportedly buried last Wednesday. 

“My mother wept and fainted and collapsed with deep groaning and is admitted in the hospital,” Okut said.

The attack comes as there has been an increase in Christian persecution in Uganda in recent years, according to the World Watch Monitor, another watchdog organization that reports on the persecution of Christians across the globe.  

In Uganda, Christians are the majority of the population, but the Muslim population seems to be growing. Although 2014 census data states that 13.7% of the Ugandan population is Muslim, Muslim leaders contend that Muslims comprise a larger share of the national population.

“Muslims are 25 percent of the total population and not 13.7 percent,” Hajj Mutumba, a spokesman of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, told local media in 2018, according to the Associated Press. “We have two to four wives, and we are producing about six children in a space of two to three years.”

Islamic extremists in recent years have tried to convert more people to Islam. 

According to World Watch Monitor, an Islamic rebel movement in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo has emboldened Ugandan radicals to increase pressure on Christians. 

In July, it was reported that suspected radical Muslims in eastern Uganda beat and drowned a 25-year-old pastor and a 22-year-old church member for preaching the Gospel to local Muslims.

According to Morning Star News, the victims were identified as Pastor Peter Kyakulaga of Church of Christ and parishioner Tuule Mumbya. They were murdered in a lake in Lugonyola village in the Kaliro District.

Over the last few years, there have been several reports of attacks on Christian converts in the East African country. 

In January 2018, World Watch Monitor reported on how a Christian woman was attacked with a machete by her husband for refusing to convert to his religion. 

In October 2019, four relatives of a Ugandan Christian convert were burned to death when suspected Muslim radicals reportedly set their home on fire. 

In May, a Muslim father reportedly burned his daughter because she converted to Christianity.

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