BWERA, UGANDA – Several Christian churches in western Uganda began an outdoor evangelistic campaign in Bwera on May 20. It was evident that the event was going well as Muslim people listened and responded positively to the Gospel message.Because so many were publicly professing their faith in Christ, Muslim leaders began staging demonstrations. The demonstrations escalated into death threats against Christian leaders and the new believers. On May 25, a crowd of more than 250 Muslims had gathered intending to attack the worshipers.
In addition to the number of converts leaving the Muslim religion, the public testimonies of two former sheikhs who had already become believers further enraged the protesters.
One testified on the first day that “Jesus changed my life when I acknowledged Him as my Lord and being the Son of the Most-High God.” Muslims not only responded to the message, but they also invited their friends to the next meeting.
On the second day of the meetings, the second former sheikh surprised attendees by using a Koran to prove that Jesus is the living and eternal Son of God. More Muslims came to Christ.
While the leaders of the local Anglican Church, the Sound of Salvation Ministry, and the Bwera Custom Church rejoiced over the conversions, they also began receiving death threats. New converts were receiving threats as well. Ultimately, a blanket threat was leveled against all local Muslims “who embraced Christianity in Bwera.”
Despite Muslims comprising only 12% of the Ugandan population, they constitute a more significant portion in the western areas in which Bwera is located.
We cannot watch. We cannot allow.
The intensity of the outrage against the conversions is evident in the Muslim clerics’ insistence that “We cannot watch” and “We cannot allow.”
Organizers of the event were told,
“We cannot watch the Christians changing our faithful members to Christianity. If those who have joined Christianity will not return back to Islam, then we are going to treat them as infidels, hence deserving death according to the teaching of Islam.”
The head of the local mosque warned police,
“We cannot allow the Christians to use the Koran in their meetings or to allege that Jesus is the Son of God – this a serious blasphemy to Muslims.”
The “cannot watch” statement is a warning, but the “cannot allow” is a direct threat to act against the Christians. It appears to have been at this point when the local security forces determined that it would be best to intervene. The did so by shutting down the event before the final, scheduled day.
While early headlines seem to lay blame on the police, they appear to have acted wisely on behalf of everyone concerned before the threats became realities.
According to Morning Star News, “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.”
The government was right to act to protect its citizens. The extent to which the death threats will be able to be contained in the days ahead remains to be seen. Missions Box News will continue to follow events that may proceed out of this incident.
Let us remember that, when the Gospel is preached, believers are “the savor of death unto death and . . . the savor of life unto life.” (2 Corinthians 2:16)
To read more news on Christian Persecution on Missions Box, go here.
- Morning Star News, Converts, Pastors Threatened with Death after Gospel Meetings Banned in Town in Uganda
- UG Christian News, Security officials in western Uganda ban gospel crusade