NAIROBI – When a young Muslim imam in the eastern Uganda village of Kerekerene began missing prayers at the local mosque, his family and friends became concerned. Three weeks passed before they found him. Rather than relief, their concerns escalated.
Someone had spotted him on March 16, entering a building where they would have least expected to ever see him. It was a church.
Until February 24, Hassan Podo had been a member of a group of Muslim extremists that had attacked a Christian congregation as they worshipped at their church in Katira.
Podo’s life changed that day when he heard the Good News of Jesus’ death for our sins and resurrection from the dead to offer us forgiveness and everlasting life. One week later, his wife also chose to become a forgiven follower of Jesus.
This is not something that a Ugandan imam runs home to tell his parents. They are unlikely to share the joy that Podo and his wife had found.
Once his family heard that Podo was seen entering a Christian church, they realized that something, from their perspective, was amiss. When he encountered them on the family homestead, they began intensely interrogating him. But they had already put enough pieces of the puzzle together to be able to see the picture clearly.
They weren’t looking for answers. They were ready to pour out their wrath upon the son who had become an infidel.
While they were berating and beating him, his wife and their two children escaped unharmed to the home of a new-found Christian friend.
Podo was not so fortunate. The family beat him mercilessly until some concerned neighbors came to his rescue. Bleeding profusely, he ran from the scene. He was found later about a kilometer away, unconscious and lying helpless in a pool of his own blood.
He was taken to a clinic in another community. Following treatment, he was discharged to the care of a Christian pastor at an undisclosed location.
Sources have learned that Podo’s father has a vigilante group of Muslims from several mosques “to hunt for the life of his son, declaring a fatwa and disowning him, and giving his land to the brothers for bringing blasphemy into the family.”
The pastor who is housing the Podo family has requested prayers from fellow believers.
“Please, family of Christ, our humble request is that we covet prayers for Podo and his young family for God’s healing, medication, protection, provision and to get to a safe haven for the young family.”
Hassan Podo’s story is yet another in a long and growing list of accounts where Christians are being persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, and killed with impunity although they are supposedly protected by guarantees of religious freedom and choice.
The staff of Missions Box is committing to pray for the Podo family. Will you join us?
Missions Box will post updates when they become available.
To read more news on Christian Persecution on Missions Box, go here.
Sources: Morning Star News, Muslim Imam in Eastern Uganda Faces Wrath of Muslims after Putting Faith in Christ