Muslim relatives of a Christian evangelist on Feb. 6 beat and tied him up to be burned to death after he returned home for a funeral in eastern Uganda, he said. Malingumu Bruhan, 34, returned to Kaliro District for his grandfather’s funeral in Muhira village, Nawaikoke, and then accepted his uncles’ request to stay and visit, as they said they had not seen him for a long time, he said. Other visitors had left when Bruhan’s uncle, Ndifakulya Musa, began rebuking him, he said.
“My uncle accused me of embarrassing them by holding Christian evangelistic, open-air meetings and debates with Muslims,” Bruhan told Morning Star News. “He accused me of being an infidel by converting to Christianity, and that Allah will reward them in Jannah [garden paradise] if they kill me.”
Bruhan remained quiet, he said.
“He said to me that it is now the right time for me to receive punishment from Allah, whereby I was going to be burned alive and the birds of the air will enjoy me as their meat,” Bruhan said.
As Bruhan continued keeping silent, his uncles’ anger grew, he said.
“They started beating me up as others gathered firewood, while another was sent to go for petrol because they wanted to use it to burn me alive,” Bruhan said.
As his uncles were waiting for the fuel, another convert from Islam who had accompanied Bruhan to the funeral came looking for him but was told he was nowhere in the vicinity, he said. The friend spied Bruhan’s shoe, which had come off as his uncles dragged him off for slaughter, Bruhan said.
“My friend made several phone calls after finding my shoe, and they arrived and started searching for me,” he said. “They found me behind the house about 100 meters away, tied and with firewood around me. They tried calling the police, which scared the attackers, and they fled.”
Having sustained head injuries, Bruhan was taken to a clinic at Bulumba town, then later transferred to another area undisclosed for security reasons.
An evangelist well-known in Mbale, Iganga, Jinja and Kampala for his public debates with Muslims about Christianity and Islam, Bruhan has survived 11 murder attempts, he said.
“By God’s grace I overcame the Muslims’ planned attacks,” Bruhan said.
His Muslim relatives had ostracized him in 2017 following his conversion, saying that as an apostate he had brought shame to the family, he said.
“When I was chased, I went on foot, slept in the bush and survived on wild fruits for two months,” Bruhan said. “I still trust God to heal me and for divine protection for my life. The church has been a comfort to me. Pray for me so that I recover from the head injuries and will be able to continue with the work of sharing Christ with the lost.”
The assault was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.
Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.