Christian Killed in Eastern Uganda after Religious Discussion with Muslims

ICC Note: A Christian man was murdered in Eastern Uganda earlier in June, reports say. This man, 50-year-old Yokannah Zirinkuma, was known for evangelical preaching in open market places that had lead to the conversion of some Muslims to Christianity. He received threats from Muslims in the area a while back, warning him that if he didn’t stop misleading Muslims, he would face the wrath of Allah. He was murdered after attending a seminar at a Christian church the night of June 3rd. His attacker, a Muslim man by the name of Ibrahim Mwede, supposedly strangled Zirinkuma to death outside his home after walking back from the church with him that evening. Uganda is a primarily Christian country, with 85 percent of the populations belonging to Christianity and only 11 percent belonging to Islam. Various eastern areas of the country are predominantly Muslim and that is where Christians face the most persecution despite the fact that the constitution of Uganda provides for religious freedom, allowing for conversion between faiths without punishment.

06/17/2016, Kibuku District, Uganda (Morning Star News) – A Christian in eastern Uganda who had received death threats from Muslims after a religious discussion was killed on June 4, sources said.

The body of Yokannah Zirinkuma of Kasasira village, Kibuku District, was found in a pool of blood in nearby Kadama village, near the home of the primary suspect, an area source said. Zirinkuma was 50.

Well known in the area for evangelistic preaching in a marketplace by which several Muslims came to faith in Christ, Zirinkuma two weeks prior had engaged Muslims in Kasasira village in open debate that became heated. He later received a threatening letter from unknown Muslims.

“You should stop misleading Muslims, and if you fail to adhere to this, then you will face the judgment sword from Allah,” a letter in Arabic warned him. A former Muslim (name withheld) whom Zirinkuma had led to Christ interpreted the letter for him, the convert told Morning Star News.

The evening before his death, June 3, Zirinkuma attended a seminar at Kadama Church of Uganda, which ended at 5 p.m.

“Yokannah mentioned to me that three Muslims from his village followed him till he entered the church for the seminar, and that he did not know where they went after that,” pastor Samuel Keffa, who led the seminar, told Morning Star News. “He looked fearful for his life.”

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