Elsewhere in country, church buildings, pastor's home razed. By Our East Africa Correspondent
NAIROBI, Kenya, March 27, 2014 (Morning Star News) – A dream of praying in a church frightened a recent college graduate in Uganda, the Muslim daughter of sheikh; she knew he was capable of seriously hurting her for such a religious switch.
Wenene Nuru, 23, of Iki-Iki township in Pallisa District, had been listening to a Christian-Muslim dialogue on “The Sonship of Jesus Christ” on the radio before she had the dream on Feb. 28.
“When I woke up from the dream, I became unsettled and terrified and could not tell my father, who is a sheikh [Muslim teacher],” she told Morning Stare News. “I decided to visit a Christian girl, who took me to a birthday party. A visiting pastor from Jinja, Uganda shared about Christ being born in a person’s heart, there and then I gave my life to Christ.”
Nuru left that celebration on March 2 very excited. Like most converts from Islam, upon reaching home she kept her new faith a secret. The next day a neighbor who had attended the party telephoned her father, however, and informed him that his daughter had converted to Christianity.
On March 4, at about 8 p.m., her father, Nuru Rajabu, could no longer contain his anger.
“My father began beating me with clubs and blows, and I started screaming in great pain,” she said. “While I was down on the floor bleeding, my father went looking for a knife to kill me. A neighbor named Saleem arrived and helped me escape.”
She found lodging from a nearby church and was taken to a hospital the next day.
“Wenene was hospitalized for a week at Pallisa Hospital,” a source whose identity is withheld for security reasons told Morning Star News. “Now she is being housed by one of the elders of the church in Pallisa.”
Pallisa is 183 kilometers (113 miles) northeast of Kampala.
Brought up largely by her step-mother after her mother died when Nuru was 7 years old, the Mass Communications student completed her university education at the end of 2013.
The source said Nuru is in need of further treatment and rental lodging.
Near Pallisa, in predominantly Muslim Budaka and Butaleja districts in eastern Uganda, Islamic extremists burned down two church buildings of the Free Church of Christ in February and the home of a church leader earlier this month, the church leader said.
Bishop James Kinyewa, 47, said they set fire to one church building, in Budaka District, on Feb. 15 and another, in Nabiganda village, Butaleja District, on Feb. 25. The same Islamic extremists burned down his house on March 2, he said.
“While I was preaching , I heard loud noise, people saying, ‘Fire! Fire!’ coming from nearby neighbors,” he told Morning Star News by phone.
Rowdy Muslim youths with clubs and machetes prevented him and others from going near enough to try to put out the fire at his house, Kinyewa said.
“They were shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar [God is greater],’” he said. “Now the same militant group is hunting for my life. My family and I are now hiding ourselves, homeless and waiting for God’s intervention.”
Everything inside the two razed church buildings, which served a total of 240 people, was destroyed, said, Kinyewa, who before his conversion used to practice a former of witchcraft called Majin (“evil powers”) under the guidance of Muslim syncretists.
“My church members have no place to worship,” Kinyewa said. “The estimated cost of the damage caused is about 12 million Uganda shillings [US$4,625].”
Saving Mulinde’s Vision
Senior Pastor/Bishop Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church International, outside Kampala, told Morning Star News that doctors in Israel have saved his sight and hearing following the acid attack he suffered at the hands of Islamic extremists on Christmas Eve 2011.
“The eye which was to be removed was sending very wrong signals to the other one, almost making me totally blind, and two surgeries on the eye have been made to save my sight,” Mulinde wrote in a recent email.
Since Islamic extremists shouting “Allahu Akbar [God is greater]” cast acid on him on the street on Dec. 24, 2011, Mulinde has been in constant pain.
“I have undergone pains that I had never imagined in life, and even if I try to explain it, I feel that it’s so hard for me to satisfy another person to really understand it all,” he said. “But in all, I am glad to see that I am managing to overcome the trauma with courage to endure suffering.”
On Feb. 3, Mulinde underwent major facial surgery to reconstruct his right ear, which had been entirely closed over with skin due to acid burns, he said.
“It has been like unending battle, and this was the eight facial reconstruction surgery,” he said. “I am happy that it was successful, I am healing well. Doctors reconstructed the ear and saved my hearing too.”
Mulinde said it has been difficult being far away from his younger children and church, and he expressed concern for converts from Islam in Uganda.
“They continue to suffer discrimination, expulsion from families, and threats of death, and the recent rise of extremists taking important political positions is worrying us much,” he said. “We are networking to keep resisting evil and looking for my possible return soon, though the perpetrators are yet to be apprehended. But we trust the One who saved me will continue His work; yet we find that my return will help our community much for a solid foundation to our struggle.”
Photo: Wenene Nuru’s ordeal began with a dream of prayer. (Morning Star News)