About two weeks after a 22-year-old Muslim in eastern Uganda put his faith in Christ, villagers on July 8 killed him for leaving Islam, sources said.
Abudu Amisi of Kasanvu village, Pallisa District was stabbed multiple times while returning from a market in Kasasira West village, Kasasira Town Council, in Kibuku District, and died en route to a hospital, eyewitnesses said.
Amisi had accepted Christ on June 22 after six months of learning about Christianity. He is survived by his wife and 3-year-old son.
Amisi had ties with a Muslim missionary active in Pallisa and Kibuku districts, said a Christian leader whose identity is withheld for security reasons.
"Immediately after his conversion, Amisi was very fearful of his life from the Muslims in his village at Kasanvu in Pallisa District," the leader told Morning Star News. "The church then housed him in a rental house, and he remained indoors for two weeks."
On Saturday July 8, the church sent two young men to go with Amisi to buy food at a market in Kasasira for a seminar training of Christian leaders, he said. One of the young men said that as they entered the market area, a Muslim who seemed to know Amisi from his village greeted them cheerfully, and they spent 10 minutes with him before proceeding to the marketplace.
"After buying the food items, we then began our journey back to the church," said the young man, whose identity is withheld for security reasons. "About 50 meters from the market area, people began shouting and mentioning the name of Amisi, saying, 'Here comes the betrayer of Islam. He should not see the light of the day.' There and then they surrounded him and then began cutting him with long knives on his head, face and neck, and fractured his legs and hand."
The terrified young men fled and called the church pastor, who immediately phoned police, and officers rushed to the scene.
"They hurriedly tried to rescue him, but it was too late, they had already cut Amisi, and he had lost a lot of blood and died on the way to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital," the pastor said.
Amisi's body was taken to a mortuary, where it remained as church leaders feared burial could occasion further retaliation from area Muslims, he said.
"We are now engaging the Pallisa County Council to assist in reaching out to the family of deceased for his burial," he said.
Police were searching for the assailants.
The attack 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.