A 24-year-old woman in Uganda was severely burned by her Muslim father for converting to Christianity, according to a Christian watchdog report.
Rehema Kyomuhendo was staying at her aunt’s home in the village of Nawuyo in the country’s Mbale District, in the eastern part of the country, and was unable to travel due to coronavirus restrictions. During the stay, she had begun listening to Christian radio programming and on May 4 she was speaking to one of her father’s friends whom she knew to be Roman Catholic.
“She explained to me about Christ and the way of salvation, and I got convicted and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior,” Kyomuhendo told Morning Star News by phone.
“As she was sharing Christ with me, I was so overjoyed, and my father heard my joy and woke up, came from his bedroom furiously, and started beating me up with blows, slaps and kicks.”
The young woman’s father, identified by Morning Star News as Sheikh Hussein Byaruhanga Husain, reportedly told his sister that he was going to kill his daughter for becoming a Christian. He then poured fuel over Kyomuhendo and set her on fire, the news outlet reported.
Morning Star News reported that a source who spoke to Kyomuhendo said the woman’s aunt became a human shield between Kyomuhendo and her father.
“She carried her outside of the room together with a Christian neighbor who arrived,” a source told Morning Star News, a news outlet that focuses on the persecution of Christians. “The neighbor arranged for a taxi-van that took her to a hospital, and she got immediate treatment.”
The woman’s injuries are so extensive that she is expected to be hospitalized for more than a month with injuries to her legs, stomach, neck and back, Morning Star News reported.
The horrific assault was not reported to the police, for fear the father would try and kill Kyomuhendo again, the source told Morning Star News.
What happened to Rehema Kyomuhendo is an example of what millions of persecuted Christians face in the East African nation and throughout many other parts of the world.
While Uganda has a sizable Christian base, Islamic influence pervades the country. In the 1970s, Uganda was ruled by a dictator, Idi Amin, a Muslim who made the country a member of the Organization of Islamic Countries. The policies the dictator adopted have shaped Uganda to this day.
According to the Christian ministry group The Voice of the Martyrs, radical Islam is a growing threat in Uganda. This Christian non-profit’s mission is “dedicated to serving our persecuted family worldwide through practical and spiritual assistance and leading other members of the body of Christ into fellowship with them.”
The organizations’ founders embrace Hebrews 13:3 as the verse behind their mission:
“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them — those who are mistreated — since you yourselves are in the body also.”
UGANDA: Pray for Uganda’s stability so it can remain a haven for persecuted Christians. pic.twitter.com/N8I8z8XUbG
— Voice of the Martyrs (@VOM_USA) January 4, 2020
Despite the influence of radical Islam in Uganda, many churches across the country are rising up. Churches are training members to evangelize Muslims and help teach newly converted Christians.
Kyomuhendo’s story of becoming a Christian, though fraught with pain and misery, shows the importance of standing with fellow persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.
While many former Muslims who convert to Christianity may face rejection from their old communities, it is vital for them to realize that there is a worldwide support system of other believers praying for them.
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