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Security officials in western Uganda ban gospel crusade

Success of gospel event, threats, led police to shut it down.

Security officials in a town in western Uganda stopped an open-air gospel crusade after hundreds of Muslims marched to Bwera police station in protest of the 2-day event organised by Churches in the area.

The success of the crusade in which many Muslims put their faith in Christ led not only to the ban, but to church leaders receiving death threats.

According to global persecution watchdog Morning Star News, Police put an end the event, which was supposed to continue until May 26, on May 25 after Muslim leaders were disturbed by what speakers were saying at the meeting.

On the first day, several former Muslims spoke at the open-air meeting, the church leaders told Morning Star News.

“Jesus changed my life when I acknowledged him as my Lord and being the Son of the most high God,” one former sheikh (Muslim teacher) testified.

This testimony touched many people, and large numbers showed up the following day, many of them putting their faith in Christ, church leaders said.

Another former sheikh on the second day of the event used the Koran to argue for the uniqueness of Jesus. According to Morning Star News, it is then that offended Muslims began mobilizing.

More than 250 armed Muslims showed up at the event on May 25 in anticipation of attacking.

“We cannot allow the Christians to use the Koran in their meetings or to allege that Jesus is the Son of God – this a serious blasphemy to Muslims,” the head of the mosque in Bwera told Police, who later summoned the preachers.

The demonstrating Muslims also threatened to kill all former Muslims who embraced Christianity in Bwera, the church leaders said, according to Morning Star News.

“We cannot watch the Christians changing our faithful members to Christianity. If those who have joined Christianity will not return back to Islam, then we are going to treat them as infidels, hence deserving death according to the teaching of Islam,” said another sheikh, according to organizers.

Following the May 25 meeting, police later that day banned all open-air Christian meetings in Bwera, Pastors said.

The ban sent a chilling message to those who have become Christians, who said they are afraid to go to worship services or other Christian meetings.

“I am very afraid for my life,” said one former sheikh. “I have received threatening messages in my phone that the Muslims want my head.”

Organizing the event was the Anglican Church of Uganda, the Sound of Salvation Ministry and the Church of Uganda of Bwera Custom Church.

The churches hoped to complete the event by seeking the help of a large number of police and military personnel, but the Muslim’ threats to kill the church leaders if they continued invoking the Koran in their teaching led police to cut the campaign short, organizers said.

Church leaders in Bwera called on the international community to pray for protection and that converts remain firm in Christ.

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