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Woman at sunset
Pray that Mariam and the pastor’s relatives will continually look to the Lord for strength and healing.

 

In late January of this year, the wife of Caled Bwambale Hussein, the imam of Kasese, Uganda, came to faith in Christ and was baptized on February 6th. A week later, her husband heard the news and began to plot retribution. When Mariam Mbambu found out from a Christian neighbour that her husband intended to kill her, she fled with her five children, finding refuge through the local church.

On February 16th, three young relatives of Pastor Nelson Walina were raped by a group of men who, it was discovered later, were sent by the imam. One of the girls heard an attacker say to the others, "Please do not harm them -- we were sent only to bring embarrassment and a warning signal to the church."

After Mariam took refuge at the All Saints Cathedral in Kasese, an unknown visitor began to attend. Some of the church members became suspicious and asked him about his faith, which he would not answer. Finally, through questioning, it was discovered that he had been sent by the imam to gain information about the church and its members. He also told the church leaders about those responsible for the rapes and warned them that the imam had paid 13 young men to attack the church.

The informant was arrested on February 29th for his part in the attacks. The imam, however, has remained free. On March 10th, Pastor Walina received a threatening text from the imam, ordering him to return Mariam and her children. Other texts from local Muslims have been received as well. "I have been receiving messages alleging that my Christian activities of converting Muslims to Christ will be met with severe punishment," Pastor Walina explains. "We need prayers and to know how best to assist the new convert and her children." To learn more about the persecution of Christians in Uganda, see our country report.

Intercede for the leadership and congregants of this church as they seek the Lord's direction concerning their Christian community (including the pastor's family) in the midst of this life-threatening situation. May the opposing imam and those responsible for the crimes be held accountable for their actions. Please also pray on behalf of the victimized girls, asking God to provide them needed healing and peace as they recover from the trauma of the assault. May all of these Ugandan believers experience safety and security under the shelter of the Most High God, while also serving as testimonies of His overcoming empowerment and saving grace.