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ICC Note: A Muslim man in Eastern Uganda first beat and then tied his son to a tree, and then started burning him before the neighbors heard his cries for help and rescued him. Abubakar Malagara, 36, reportedly attacked his son, Nassif Malagara, because of his conversion to Christianity from Islam. Nassif came to Christ after a Christian neighbor invited him to church where he prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior. The act that angered his Muslim parents enough to beat and burn him. Uganda’s population is primarily Christian, making up 85 percent of the population and Muslims only 11 percent; however, in eastern Uganda there are pockets of Muslim majority communities in which Christians, especially converts from Islam, face difficult persecution.  

06/27/2016, Kamuli District, Uganda (Morning Star News) – The Muslim father of a 9-year-old boy in eastern Uganda who put his faith in Christ this month tied his son to a tree and burned him, sources said.

Nassif Malagara of the Kakira Parish area, Kisozi Sub-County, Kamuli District decided to become a Christian after a neighbor took him to visit a church in another village, undisclosed for security reasons, on June 5.

“At the end of the service, Nassif remained behind and then followed me to the church’s pastry room and requested that he wanted to receive Jesus as his personal savior,” the pastor of the church told Morning Star News. “I was a bit hesitant, but after his continuous press, I then prayed with him, and he left.”

Nassif subsequently declined to participate in any Muslim activities, including attending a madrassa (Islamic school), the pastor said. His father, 36-year-old Abubakar Malagara, and stepmother, Madina Namwaje, 35, became furious when they learned he had converted to Christianity, the pastor said.

The boy told Morning Star News that his parents prohibited him from eating, beyond the day-time fast of Ramadan, so that he went without food for two days before sneaking to his neighbor’s house for food. He brought food back to his home over the next few days, and on June 9 his father caught him eating.

“He started beating me up with sticks, but I managed to escape to a nearby bush,” Nassif said. “My father then followed me and got hold of me back to the homestead, where he tied me up to a banana tree. He went into the house and came back with a hot piece of wood. The banana tree had dry leaves, which caught fire and caused serious burns on my body.”

Neighbors heard his screams for help and rescued him, he said, and took him to Kamuli Hospital. The hospital’s Walwawo Zubari told Morning Star News that Nassif had burns on several parts of his body.

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