Muslim extremists killed a Christian man in eastern Uganda earlier this month simply for sharing the gospel with others.
Morning Star News reports Simolya Latifu of Molu village in the Kibuku District was murdered on July 3 by three men who accused him of "leading Muslims to Christ."
The killers used a sword to kill the 47-year-old after he left an evening worship service at Christ Discipleship Worship Center in Molu.
Witnesses to the attack said they hid in a nearby swamp until it was safe to come out. They could hear Latifu weeping in pain. The witnesses identified the alleged assailants as Ali Buyinza, Muhammad Kamunyani and Jamada Walyomba, according to Morning Star News.
"The killers were condemning him for converting Muslims to Christianity," said one witness. "We saw Buyinza cut him on the head with a sword, and thereafter they left. We remained there for about 30 minutes, and then we took courage and slowly went to see the slain man and discovered that he worshipped with us at Christ Discipleship Worship Center."
Pastor Emmanuel Muzei filed a report with local police and Latifu's body was discovered the next day.
Latifu had converted to Christianity in June 2019, then fled to the Lira District after helping several Muslims find faith in Jesus Christ. He believed that Muslim extremists had stopped looking for him, so he returned to the Kibuku District in February, Muzei recalled.
"Angry Christian residents flooded to Molu village swamp to mourn the death of their beloved convert from Islam who had been going from one church to another testifying about how he converted to Christianity," the pastor said. "His testimony was an encouragement to many Christians in my church and led many to Christ. We have lost a dynamic evangelist."
Muzei noted that Buyinza was arrested by authorities and taken to the Kibuku police station where he was closely monitored because residents wanted to kill him.
An unknown source told Morning Star News that Buyinza told police, "We warned him to come back to our religion and gave him several opportunities, but he turned a deaf ear – we're proud of killing him."
Officers were still looking for Kamunyani and Walyomba. Enraged Christians from eight villages reportedly set fire to the homes of all three suspects.
"We request residents to support the family of the late Latifu, and that all the assailants be brought to book," said area Chairperson John Emuga of the Anglican Church of Uganda in Molu.
Latifu is survived by his wife and five children.
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 approximately 14 percent of Uganda's population with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country. Christians make up 82 percent.
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