Eight children from four families have taken refuge with Christians in eastern Uganda after their parents beat and disowned them for leaving Islam or animism, sources said.
In another village in eastern Uganda, a high school student is recovering from a serious head injury inflicted by the Muslim father of a young woman he led to Christ, area residents said.
The eight children in Busalamu village, Bukanga Sub-County, Luuka District came to Christ after visits from pastor Brian Mukisa, 29, who began Power Gates Church earlier this year as people put their faith in Jesus Christ. The new-found faith of the children, ages 9 to 16, angered their parents, who beat them in an effort to deter them from sneaking to worship services, and on June 29 the young ones took refuge at the church building, area sources said.
The pastor on June 15 had moved the worship site 10 kilometers (six miles) away to a temporary structure, providing the children transport to services, after the angry parents led by a local mosque leader destroyed the church’s initial, rented building on May 25, sources said.
The church lost chairs, tables and musical instruments when Muslims led by Bavakuno Ibra, Kalemba Farouk and the mosque leader, identified only as 48-year-old Imam Jengo, destroyed the first building.
“Your church activities will not be tolerated in this area,” one of them told the pastor, he said. “If you do not leave our village, then we shall soon come for your life.”
Pastor Mukisa had made a partial payment on land for a church building in the village when the Muslim parents wrested control of it by offering a higher price to the seller, also a Muslim, sources said. The seller returned Pastor Mukisa’s partial payment to him.
The children, whose names are withheld for security reasons, are 9, 11, 13 and 14, and there are two 15-year-olds and two 16-year-olds. Some of them have yet to fully recover from injuries sustained in the beatings and do not have funds for medical care, the pastor said. Disowned by their parents, they are staying with various church members but lack fees for attending school.
“The parents have totally disowned them as infidels,” Pastor Mukisa said. “They need prayers to come to terms with the separation from parents for choosing Christ.”
The burden on the small church is heavy, and he asked for prayer for the church.
“Busalamu is a Muslim stronghold, and any church presence here will meet with strong resistance,” he said. “We are worshipping in a temporary church structure, and we also appeal for financial assistance in assisting both the persecuted young children and our young upcoming church.”
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SOURCE: Morning Star News