By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
KABWERI, UGANDA (ANS – May 20, 2016) — A Baptist pastor in eastern Uganda was poisoned to death after an intense theological dialogue with a Muslim villager, sources told Morning Star News (http://morningstarnews.org).
Micah Byamukama, pastor of Kasecha Baptist Church in Kasecha village, died at Kabweri Health Centre on May 15th after consuming an insecticide laced into his food. He was 61.
Ahmed Mupere, the alleged assailant, was said to be upset with Pastor Micah, a fervent evangelist, after public discussions in which the pastor challenged his theology. The pastor had asserted that “the true God is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, who conquered the power of Satan including the Islamic Jinn,” according to Morning Star News.
The pastor argued the Islamic Jinn are satanic and should be denounced. Jinn are supernatural creatures in early Arabic mythology that became part of Islamic theology.
Less than a week before the poisoning, Pastor Micah survived a knife attack by unidentified persons, who may have been hired by Mupere. The pastor was wounded, but neighbors responded to his cries for help and rescued him.
A widower with no children, Pastor Micah was alone when Mupere visited May 15, 2016, five days after the knife attack. Feigning reconciliation as he dined with the pastor from a shared dish, Mupere allegedly put poison on the food and stopped eating as Pastor Micah continued to eat.
Before he died the pastor told his neighbor, “Ahmed took a little food with me and then stopped. When I asked him why not continue with the food, he said he had eaten at his home, and that he wanted go back home because it was getting late.”
Shortly after Mupere left, the pastor began to experience stomach pains. He was rushed to the health center, where the pain and other symptoms intensified, before he passed into heaven.
A hospital nurse said the pastor died from ingesting organophosphate, a highly toxic insecticide.
Police are investigating, and Mupere has fled the village, sources told Morning Star.
Pastor Micah was an animist who believed in ancestral spirits before putting his faith in Christ. Formerly named Mukama, upon becoming Christian he changed his name to “Byamukama,” meaning “All for God.”
About 85 percent of the people in Uganda are Christian and 11 percent Muslim, with some eastern areas having large Muslim populations. 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.
The incident is the latest in a series of attacks against Christians in eastern Uganda, including other poisonings. On April 19, Muslims in Pallisa District beat and raped a young Christian woman for testifying that a mosque leader killed her father because of his faith, sources said.
On April 4, a Muslim in Kachomo village attacked his wife for becoming a Christian, telling a judge that Islam allows him to kill any apostate, sources said. Having moved to another village with their four children following an attack last year, Ntende Hawa, 38, said she was visiting her estranged husband to discuss child support when he questioned her about her faith and began strangling her. Her husband’s brother stopped the assault.
Photo captions: 1) Coffin of Baptist pastor Micah Byamukama. (Morning Star News). 2) Mark Ellis.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net) , and also founder of www.GodReports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world. He is also co-host for “Widows on the World” with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, which is airred on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv).
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