By BosNewsLife Africa Service
KAMPALA, UGANDA (BosNewsLife)-- Islamic militants in eastern Uganda have killed a Christian policeman and abducted three children as part of efforts to force Christian converts to return to Islam, BosNewsLife established Sunday, December 20.
Friends and family said the policeman, Ismail Kuloba, was shot dead December 8 in the town of Komodo, shortly before the reported kidnapping of Christian children.
Christians said suspected "extremists" attacked Kuloba after "summoning him" on false pretences to deal with a "local land dispute." When he arrived at the scene, he encountered militants who killed him, according to Christians familiar with the case.
The next day three children of Christian father Madengho Badir, aged five, seven and ten, were reportedly snatched from their family home in Kabuna, some 19 kilometers (12 miles) outside Komodo.
Badir said he has not been sleeping since the December 9 incident. The kidnappers, he said, are trying to force him to return to Islam. "I know God will answer our prayers, and I will get back my three children, since my only hope is in Jesus," he said in published remarks.
While Christians comprise the majority of Uganda's 37-million population, churches have reported persecution by Islamic militants in the eastern part of country.
Earlier this year a pastor and evangelist was found dead after taking part in a debate between Christians and Muslims in eastern Uganda. Samson Nfunyeku had reportedly spoken at a number of theological debates at the Tirinyi Trading Center this year, the last of which was on September 22. In the early hours of the next morning, his body was found close to his home in Kalampete village, Kibuku District, Christians said.
Christian advocacy and aid group Voice Of the Martys Canada (VOMC) suggested that the incidents are part of a wider attempt by militants to force converts to return to Islam. VOMC said it had urged its supporters to pray for the latest known victims of the pro-Islam campaign, including for father "Madengho that his three children will soon be returned home safely."
In a prayer request it said it was crucial to pray that God divinely protect these little ones from any fear or harm, surrounding them with His angels and blanketing them with great peace." And, on behalf of Ismail's grieving family, VOMC urged Christians to "ask that the Lord's comforting presence will be with them in special ways and His provision for their every need be fulfilled."
The group also asked believers to pray for the perpetrators, "in hopes that they will be convicted of wrongdoing and forever changed by God's saving grace and power," VOMC said.