A pastor has lost nearly all his vision after Muslim extremists lured him into an ambush in Uganda's capital city and sprayed him with acid, sources said.
Pastor Frank Mutabaazi of Mbarara can see only dimly out of one eye and has trouble eating and talking due to the burns from the acid attack on December 22 in Kampala. His shoulder was also seriously burned, and he cannot sleep without painkillers.
After the pastor preached at an evening service of a church in the Kasubi area of Kampala, a Muslim extremist pretending to be a congregation member greeted him, praised him for his "wonderful sermon" and asked for a ride to the Busega area in western Kampala, he said.
About to return to his home in Mbarara nearly five hours away, the pastor agreed to give him a lift and set out on the Kampala-Northern Bypass Highway.
"On my way to the main road, the gentleman started making several phone calls," Pastor Mutabaazi told Morning Star News with difficulty due to burns on his mouth.
Approaching a roundabout, the man said he wanted to get out, Pastor Mutabaazi said. The pastor told him they were still far from his destination, but the man replied that he wanted to visit a friend first.
"As he came out of the vehicle, three men dressed in Islamic attire appeared and pulled out a bottle and started spraying on me through the window while shouting and mentioning that I am an enemy of their religion as well as a deceiver who is not worthy to live," Pastor Mutabaazi said. "From that time on, I did not know what happened, only to find myself at a nearby clinic in Namunghona after five hours."
He had received several threats on his phone demanding that he stop evangelistic events in Masaka and Kambala in central Uganda, Mbale and Pallisa in the east and the West Nile sub-region in the northwest part of the country, he said. One text message read, "We have been monitoring your evil activities of changing our members to Christianity. Let this be known to you that your life is at risk."
The pastor said he had been taking many precautions but never expected a Muslim would attend a church service masquerading as a Christian.
Still struggling to recover, Pastor Mutabaazi was unable to contemplate filing a police report.
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 per cent of Uganda's population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.
© 2022 Morning Star News.