15 Christian Women Raped By Muslim Mob In ‘Revenge Attack’ For Pastor Overseeing Conversions
James Macintyre 01 February 2017
Fifteen women were raped in a church by a mob of Muslims in eastern Uganda as a punishment against a pastor who was allegedly converting Muslims to Christianity.
The pastor is still missing along with eight other Christians two weeks after the attack in which the congregation were locked inside the church and several Christians were beaten, sources told Morning Star News.
Around 90 Muslims broke into the evening prayer meeting where some 80 Christians had gathered at the Katira Church of Uganda, in the Katira village, Budaka District at about 8:30pm on January 15 and beat the Christians with clubs and sticks, the report said.
A member of the congregation who escaped before the doors were locked heard one of the attackers shout, “Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity.”
The pastor, Moses Mutasa had been outside talking to some visitors to the church when several others arrived shouting, “Away with the pastor,” and he fled, according to Rev Musa Mukenye, who oversees several churches in the district’s Iki-iki County.
Pastor, Eight Others Missing in Uganda after Muslims Beat, Rape Congregation
Throng of about 90 attacks prayer meeting of 80.
January 29, 2017 By Our East Africa Correspondent
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – A pastor in eastern Uganda and eight other Christians are missing two weeks after a Muslim mob attacked a church prayer meeting, locked the congregation in, beat several members and raped 15 women, sources said.
The approximately 90 Muslims broke into the evening prayer meeting of Katira Church of Uganda, in Katira village, Budaka District at about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 and beat them with clubs and sticks, area sources said. Previously Muslims had only thrown stones at the roof of the church building to disrupt church services of the 500-member congregation, villagers said.
At the evening service, about 80 members were present, and among those who escaped before the doors were locked was a Christian who heard one of the assailants shout, “Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity,” a church leader said.
Pastor Moses Mutasa had been outside questioning some visitors unknown to the church when several others arrived shouting, “Away with the pastor,” and he fled, said the Rev. Musa Mukenye, who oversees several churches in the district’s Iki-iki County.
“We do not know what has happened to our pastor, Moses Mutasa,” Pastor Mukenye told a meeting of local officials, police and other security officers. “He might have been killed or has been kept hostage.”
The assailants locked about half of those in attendance inside the building, beat the men and tied them up while they raped women, said a church elder stationed outside the building who escaped. About 50 men and 30 women had attended the prayer meeting, and most of those locked inside were women, sources said.
Muslim assailants positioned outside the church building also beat men and raped women as they tried to escape, a church elder said.
“Women’s clothing was found inside and outside the church building,” he said.
The abused women received treatment at a clinic in Katira.
Police arrived about two hours after the assault began, sources said. Several church members were also injured as they were trampled in the rush to get out of the building. Much church property was damaged, especially chairs.
The assailants were Muslims from the area, which is predominantly Muslim, sources said.
When police arrived, the attackers fled. Two days later, church members found leaflets accusing the pastor of converting Muslims and threatening more attacks, villagers said.
On the morning after the attack, some church members intent on retaliating gathered, and as tensions mounted police intervened, convening a meeting with Christian, Muslim and local political leaders on Jan. 22.
Christians were planning to destroy the village mosque in order to send a message that they were not cowards, but Pastor Mukenye pleaded for them to adopt an attitude of forgiveness, and they refrained, he said.
Pastor Mukenye told Morning Star News that Christians should leave justice to authorities.
“This act is evil, and police should not relent until the attackers are arrested and charged in a court of law,” he said.
The assault was the latest in a series of incidents of persecution against Christians in eastern Uganda. On Jan. 2 Islamic extremists ambushed a church leader in eastern Uganda after a sheikh they had sent to assassinate him at a Dec. 4 church service instead became a Christian, sources said.