These Teen Boys Converted From Islam To Christianity. Now They Are On The Run, Threatened With Death For Apostasy

School girls pray in front of a crucifix at their school in Kakoge, north of Uganda's capital Kampala in October last year. Uganda is one of the countries in Africa where volatile relations between Muslims and Christians are deteriorating.Reuters

Two teenage boys who converted to Christianity from Islam have been forced to go on the run in fear of their lives.

The Muslim persecution of the two Christian boys in Uganda is reported by Release International and Morning Star News.

Already, Muslims in their village in eastern Uganda's Kibuku district have set fire to the home of a Christian adult who had given them refuge. This man's house has been completely gutted.

The two boys, aged 16 and 17, fled in fear for their lives after their own parents threatened to kill them when they learned of their conversion to Christianity seven months earlier.

Apostasy is a capital crime in Islamic law.

The Christian adult told an area pastor that he now believed the life of his own family is at risk and said he had lost everything.

"I started receiving threatening messages in my phone accusing me of converting the boys to Christianity, as well as housing them in my house without the parents' permission, but I did not take it very seriously," he said, according to Morning Star News.

The arsonists left threatening leaflets behind, warning: "Be informed that we are not yet finished with you. Expect more, worse things are on the way." 

This man and the teen boys are now in hiding elsewhere. 

Release International asked for prayers for the boys and the local Christians trying to help them.

Uganda did not actually make it onto Open Doors' World Watch list of the top 50 countries for Christian persecution last year or in 2014.

Nevertheless, Open Doors reports that Christian persecution as a result of Islamic extremism is on the rise. Uganda might appear on the 2016 list when it is published next year.

The Christian church is growing in Uganda but the charity has concerns about the "tabliqs", an evangelistic hard-line Muslim sect. Muslims have also positioned themselves strategically in key political posts as well as in finance, and sharia-compliant banking favours Muslims over Christians.

In particular, Open Doors says, pressure is put on converts to Christianity from a Muslim background and an armed force established by tabliqs has orchestrated a number of deadly attacks on civilians, mostly Christians. There are also many spontaneous violent attacks on Christians.