A man who comes from a family of devoted Muslim sheiks in eastern Uganda is recovering from a machete blow to his head after his brother struck him as punishment for putting his faith in Christ and listening to gospel music.
The victim, identified as 39-year-old Abudlawali Kijwalo from Kibuku District’s Nankodo area, survived the attack, which took place on June 27, but will need further treatment, the doctors said, according to Morning Star News.
Kijwalo, who is from a family of hajjis (pilgrims to Mecca), was grazing his cattle when his brother, identified as Musoga Murishid, attacked him, the victim recalled, adding that family members had warned him against listening to gospel music or claiming that Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior.
“Are you still a Muslim, or you are now a Christian?” Murishid asked him. “I am for Christ,” Kijwalo responded. His brother then took out a machete strapped beneath his long robe and struck him on the head and walked away, believing his brother would have died from the blow.
A village elder witnessed the attack and arranged for Kijwalo, who was bleeding heavily, to be taken by motorcycle to the nearest hospital in the town of Kasasira.
“Kijwalo, who lacks money for medical bills and food, has taken refuge at an undisclosed site,” the persecution news outlet said.
While most people in Uganda are Christian, some eastern and central regions have higher concentrations of Muslims.
The Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project shows that about 11.5% of Uganda’s population is Muslim. Muslims in Uganda are primarily Sunni. Armed attacks and murders of converts are not uncommon in the region.
“Radical Islam’s influence has grown steadily, and many Christians within the majority-Muslim border regions are facing severe persecution, especially those who convert from Islam,” a Voice of the Martyrs factsheet explains.
“Despite the risks, evangelical churches in Uganda have responded by reaching out to their neighbors; many churches are training leaders how to share the Gospel with Muslims and care for those who are persecuted after they become Christians.”
Last month, a 38-year-old mother of three was attacked by her Muslim father and other relatives with a blunt object and forced her to drink poison in her pastor’s house in eastern Uganda, where she had been taking refuge since her conversion to Christianity following a “miraculous healing.”
The father of the woman, identified as Hajat Habiiba Namuwaya from Namakoko village in Nangonde Sub-County of Namutumba District, and her other relatives arrived at her pastor’s home on the morning of June 20, the victim recalled from her hospital bed, Morning Star News reported at the time.