A Muslim man in eastern Uganda, who said the Quran allows men to beat their wives if they disobey them, beat his 38-year-old wife, who is a mother of three, and forced her to drink pesticide after he found two Bibles in her suitcase, according to a report.
The man, identified as Umar Kyakulaga from Uganda’s Bugiri District’s Matovu village, asked his wife, Zubeda Nabirye, if she had converted to Christianity, and Nabirye replied that she was reading the Bible to compare it with what is written in the Quran, according to Morning Star News, a nonprofit that regularly reports on global Christian persecution.
The woman had two Bibles, one in English and the other in their tribal language.
“I was convicted and decided to embrace Christianity,” Nabirye was quoted as telling her husband. “My husband began reading verses in the Quran that allowed men to beat their wives if they disobey them, and after that he started beating me with slaps and sticks.”
“As if this was not enough, he forced me to take Dithane M-45,” a toxic pesticide.
She tried not to swallow the pesticide but ingested some while he was trying to strangle her and hitting her leg with sticks, she added, describing the Nov. 21 incident.
“It was around 10 p.m. when I regained consciousness and found myself surrounded by neighbors,” she said.
Neighbors said they found her groaning outside near a banana plant, and Nabirye “had just regained her consciousness but with vomit and blood all over her body.”
Nabirye, who put her faith in Christ on Aug. 21, was discharged from the hospital on Dec. 2, and has been staying with a Christian family at an undisclosed location since then.
The woman is worried about her children — ages 16, 13 and 9 — who are under the care of her mother-in-law. “I know it will be very difficult for me to see them and reunite with them,” she said.
At the end of October, a Christian pastor was reportedly killed in northern Uganda 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, his son, Simon Okut, said, according to Morning Star News.
There has been an increase in Christian persecution in Uganda in recent years, according to World Watch Monitor.
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.