A Muslim in eastern Uganda beat and left for dead his wife and 18-year-old son this month after learning they had converted to Christianity, area sources said.
Issa Kasoono beat and strangled his wife, Jafalan Kadondi, in Nsinze village, Namutumba District, but she survived, said a source who requested anonymity for security reasons. He said other relatives joined Kasoono in beating her and their two sons, Ibrahim Kasoono, 18, and Ismael Feruza, 16, though the younger son managed to escape with only bruises on his arm.
All three were treated at a local clinic. Due to injuries from the strangling, Kadondi has lost her voice and has difficulty eating, according to the source and an area pastor.
"The mother and Ibrahim Kasoono were seriously injured," the source said. "Ibrahim was hit with a blunt object, had his right arm broken and has stomach pains, while the mother was strangled and sustained neck and throat injuries."
Kadondi requires specialized treatment for her throat injury, said an area pastor whose name and church are withheld for security reasons.
Issa Kasoono left his wife and oldest son inside the house expecting them to die, the two sources said. After Ismael escaped, he ran to a church and informed the pastor of the violence. The pastor and two elders drove to the house, discovered Kadondi and Ibrahim were alive and took them to the clinic in Nsinze, he said.
On Wednesday (Aug. 12), the pastor took them to a relative's house in another district, he said.
The mother and her two sons put their faith in Christ three months ago, and Kadondi had occasionally been able to secretly attend church meetings. After attending an open-air evangelistic event in May in Nsinze village, Kadondi and her two sons met with the pastor. After he further explained the gospel, they prayed with him to receive Christ as Lord and Savior, he said.
"It was only during this time, when Ibrahim and Ismael are in their holidays, that Issa discovered that the three had joined the Christian faith when a Muslim neighbor informed him," he said.
Recently converts from Islam to Christianity in eastern Uganda have been suffering persecution regularly. The wife of a former sheikh (Islamic teacher) was poisoned to death on June 17 after she and her husband put their faith in Christ in Nabuli village, Kibuku District. Namumbeiza Swabura was the mother of 11 children, including a 5-month-old baby.
In Kiryolo, Kaderuna Sub-County, Budaka District on March 28, five Muslims gang-raped the 17-year-old daughter of a pastor because the church leader ignored their warnings that he stop worship services, she said.
Uganda's population is 85 percent Christian and 11 percent Muslim. The country's constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one's faith and convert from one faith to another.