Hardline Muslims who grew furious at the preaching of a speaker at an open-air evangelistic event last week in eastern Uganda beat him to death and burned his body, sources said.
John Michael Okero was quoting verses from the Koran about Christ on Feb. 28 in Kadungulu village, Serere District when a Muslim identified only as Shakuuru grabbed the microphone from him. He and other Muslims started beating Okero as they accused him of blaspheming Allah by saying that he has a Son, misinterpreting the Koran, touching the Koran without ritual cleansing and disrespecting it by placing it under the Bible, an area source told Morning Star News by phone.
They beat him to death with iron bars, stones and sticks and later burned his body to a chant in the Ateso language referring to a thief who steals people from one religion to join a bad religion, the source said. Okero was 43.
Police were called but arrived after the assailants had fled, the source said. Officers began a manhunt.
Okero, a resident of Kapaala village, Palissa District, was frequently invited to preach at evangelistic events in predominantly Muslim Kadungulu village by a denomination undisclosed for security reasons.
The assault was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.
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 no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.