Christian woman allegedly killed by her Muslim son for accepting Christ

A church bell hangs from a tree branch outside a Catholic church and a school in Odek village, Uganda.
A church bell hangs from a tree branch outside a Catholic church and a school in Odek village, Uganda. | REUTERS/JAMES AKENA

NAIROBI, Kenya — Before Sawuba Naigaga succumbed to injuries her 25-year-old son inflicted on her in Uganda this month, she described the assault to a friend from her hospital bed.

The friend said Naigaga’s son, Ashirafu Basalirwa, returned home to Busia town, Busia district from four years of working in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 15 and found his mother mentioning the name of Jesus as she prayed.

“As I was praying with my eyes closed, my son called me, saying ‘Mum, Mum — you are becoming a disgrace to the family and the religion of Allah,’” the 46-year-old Naigaga told her friend before she died on Dec. 17. “I kept quiet, and he pushed me hard to the wall, then I fell down. He then took a blunt object and hit me at the head. Since then, I lost all my consciousness, only to find myself in the hospital bed.”

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The friend said she had told Naigaga the Gospel and led her to Christ.

“I preached the Good News of Jesus to Sawuba, who gave her life to Christ in 2022,” said the friend, whose name is withheld for security reasons. “We had been attending church. One thing which I know is that she kept her faith silent from her family members, including her son.”

Basalirwa had gone to Saudi Arabia to look for employment after graduating from an Islamic university in Uganda, the friend said.

She found Naigaga on the day of the assault.

“I ran to Sawuba’s home after hearing wailing from her house and an alarm from neighbors,” the friend recalled. “I dashed quickly to the scene, and I found her in a pool of blood but in an unconscious state. We rushed her to a nearby hospital, but she breathed her last breath after two days on Dec. 17 due to internal bleeding.”

Basalirwa has fled and is in hiding, sources said.

Besides her son, Naigaga is survived by a daughter.

The killing 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 percent 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.

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