Forsaken by His Earthly Family, Loved by His Heavenly Family

“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12: 26

11/19/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)Mumbedde Sula, born to a Muslim family, converted to Christianity in June 2019 following the witness of Robert Muhando of the Church of God in Uganda. Since then, his family has been harassing him, hoping that he will give up Christianity and embrace the Islamic faith once again. This father of three young children has been evicted from his family’s land, his house has been destroyed, and he is currently taking shelter with a Christian family in fear for his life. Even his wife and children have left him due to the endless threats that put them all at risk.

When speaking with Sula, International Christian Concern (ICC) learned that his father’s family has been trying to use the police to harass him even further. In September, one of his uncles, Twaha Mohamed, falsely accused him of trespassing and stealing his firewood.

He shared, “My uncle is one of the most disappointed people in my family because he used to teach us Islam from when we were little kids. In September, he accosted me with a group of police officers, claiming that I had gone to his homestead and carried away firewood and sold it to a local restaurant. He was not able to justify his allegations and so the police said we should take the matter before the community council chairman. The case was resolved and he was warned against placing untruthful claims on me or any other person.

The harassment has not stopped there, however. On November 9, Sula was arrested again and detained for four days following allegations from his father that he had stolen money. Sula said, “When my father heard that the case put against me by my uncle was dismissed by the council of elders, he devised another plan to have me arrested. He said that I was behind the loss of his money from home, a home I have [not returned to] since June. The police [roughed] me up and locked me up at Bukumbo police station.”

Robert Muhando, Sula’s mentor, quickly heard of the incident. He rushed to the police station to find out why Sula was arrested. He explained, “I found out that Sula was arrested following incitement by his Muslim father, but police, while writing the charge sheet stated that he was arrested for causing public disruption, resisting arrest, and assaulting police officers. We shall follow on this inconsistency, later on, to demand justice for Sula.

Robert went further to ask for the unconditional release of Sula, citing evidence that Sula’s father was working with the police to discourage him from his newfound faith in Christ Jesus. “The police officer that arrested Sula demanded to be given 700,000 UGX (approximately 200 USD) for medical expenses because Sula had hurt him. This was not true though. So they refused to release him on a free police bond. I had to talk to my church and friends to raise half of the money so that brother Sula can be released.”

Sula was released on November 12 after Robert paid half of the compensation money. He will continue reporting to the police station once a week until he clears the remaining money, and then the matter will be closed.

Mumbedde Sula is one of many Christians facing persecution in Uganda. Unlike other East African countries where the main perpetrator is the Somali-based terror group, al-Shabaab, families are the leading persecutors in Uganda. They often use physical violence, poisoning, rejection, and false accusations in an attempt to turn new converts back to Islam.

Despite all that Sula has suffered at the hands of his family, though, he is part of a much larger heavenly family. The faithfulness of Robert Muhando and his church as they supported our brother in his time of need was a true demonstration of Christ’s love for Sula. It is what we are called to do for our Christian family in the midst of their suffering. We are thankful to Robert Muhando and his church for intervening and granting Sula’s release. Please continue praying for Mumbedde Sula as he goes through this trying time. Pray that his faith would remain strong and that he knows he is not alone.

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