The Muslim father of a 9-year-old boy in eastern Uganda who put his faith in Christ this month tied his son to a tree and burned him, sources said.
Nassif Malagara of the Kakira Parish area, Kisozi Sub-County, Kamuli District decided to become a Christian after a neighbor took him to visit a church in another village, undisclosed for security reasons, on June 5.
“At the end of the service, Nassif remained behind and then followed me to the church’s pastry room and requested that he wanted to receive Jesus as his personal savior,” the pastor of the church told Morning Star News. “I was a bit hesitant, but after his continuous press, I then prayed with him, and he left.”
Nassif subsequently declined to participate in any Muslim activities, including attending a madrassa (Islamic school), the pastor said. His father, 36-year-old Abubakar Malagara, and stepmother, Madina Namwaje, 35, became furious when they learned he had converted to Christianity, the pastor said.
The boy told Morning Star News that his parents prohibited him from eating, beyond the day-time fast of Ramadan, so that he went without food for two days before sneaking to his neighbor’s house for food. He brought food back to his home over the next few days, and on June 9 his father caught him eating.
“He started beating me up with sticks, but I managed to escape to a nearby bush,” Nassif said. “My father then followed me and got hold of me back to the homestead, where he tied me up to a banana tree. He went into the house and came back with a hot piece of wood. The banana tree had dry leaves, which caught fire and caused serious burns on my body.”
Neighbors heard his screams for help and rescued him, he said, and took him to Kamuli Hospital. The hospital’s Walwawo Zubari told Morning Star News that Nassif had burns on several parts of his body.
“Nassif has been recovering, but at a very slow pace,” Zubari said. “He might need to be referred to another hospital for specialized treatment.”
A relative told Morning Star News that she hopes to take custody of Nassif after his release from the hospital.
Area residents alerted Kisozi Police Post, and officers arrested Malagara, registering the case under reference number CRR044/2016. Malagara, who attends Nankaduro mosque, has been released on bail.
The neighbor (name withheld for security reasons) who introduced Nassif to the church said he fears for his life after receiving a threatening text message on his phone.
“We know that you are behind the conversion of Nassif to Christianity,” the message read. “You will soon reap what you have sown, which will be a lesson to others. Islam is against such conversion.”
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SOURCE: Morning Star News