In a report by Morning Star News, a woman in eastern Uganda is currently in the hospital, recovering from severe burns after her Muslim husband discovered she had converted to Christianity and set her on fire.
The incident occurred in Kenkebu village, Budaka town, and has sent shockwaves through the local community.
Hajara Namwase, a 32-year-old mother of three children, has been hospitalized with third-degree burns. Her husband, 42-year-old Musa Kalele, reportedly threw gasoline on her and ignited it with a match on October 17. A friend of the victim shared the horrifying details of the attack.
Namwase had embraced Christianity on May 3 while her husband was away on a business trip to South Sudan. She began attending a small group fellowship in Budaka with the friend who introduced her to the Gospel, along with other Christians in the community. However, her newfound faith soon put her in a perilous situation when her husband returned unexpectedly from South Sudan on that fateful day.
Upon returning home from a cell group meeting on October 17, Namwase was faced with a terrifying situation. She realized she couldn’t hide the Gospel tracts and a small New Testament Bible she had. Her husband’s reaction was immediate and violent. He became furious upon seeing the Christian literature and left the room, only to return with a container of gasoline.
“He took some bedsheets, covered them around my body and then removed me out of the house,” Namwase recounted. “He forced me to lie down. He took the petrol, then poured it on me and thereafter took a matchbox, lit it, and the fire began burning me up.”
Her daughter witnessed the horrifying incident and alerted neighbors, who quickly came to her rescue. They rushed her to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, where she began receiving treatment. Her sister later arrived to support her and arranged for her to be transferred to a hospital in Kampala on October 24 for more specialized care. Her husband, Musa Kalele, fled to South Sudan, according to a relative of Namwase.
As Namwase continues to recover in the hospital, she faces concerns about her future. All her relatives are Muslims, and she worries about where she will stay after her release. Additionally, her three young children, aged 4, 6, and 9, are now under the care of their paternal grandmother.
Namwase is still hospitalized in Kampala and has suffered severe third-degree burns on much of her body. She has also experienced nerve damage and has multiple red spots on her skin, according to Christian sources in the area.
This disturbing attack is the most recent incident of persecution of Christians in Uganda. The country’s constitution and laws provide for religious freedom, which includes the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one religion to another. Uganda’s Muslim population makes up no more than 12% of the total population, with higher concentrations in eastern regions of the country.
The brutal attack on Hajara Namwase highlights the importance of religious tolerance and respect for individual choices. It shows that despite legal protections for religious freedom in Uganda, incidents of violence and persecution still occur, leaving individuals like Namwase with physical and emotional scars that can take a long time to heal.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hajara Namwase as she recovers from this traumatic experience, and we hope for a future where all Ugandans can practice their chosen faith without fear of persecution.