Ugandan Baptist pastor dies from poisoning

Severino Okoya (L), 87, preaches a sermon to his followers during Sunday service at the Holy Spirit Movement church in Gulu town, north of Uganda capital Kampala, February 15, 2015. | Reuters/James Akena

A Ugandan Baptist pastor fell dead after ingesting food that was poisoned by a suspected Muslim villager.

On May 15, Pastor Micah Byamukama of the Kasecha Baptist Church in Kasecha Village, Kibuku District died at the Kabweri Health Centre after eating food that was laced with insecticide. A Muslim villager named Ahmed Mupere is suspected in the death of the Ugandan pastor, the Morning Star News reports.

Sources say Mupere was upset after the Ugandan pastor publicly challenged his beliefs in an Arabic mythology character and Islamic theology. The minister reportedly claimed that his God is the true God and that the Islamic Jinn stories are Satanic acts that ought to be denounced.

Five days before he died, unidentified assailants attacked Pastor Byamukama with knives, leaving him wounded. Fortunately, the neighbors heard his cries for help and they were able to save him.

On the evening of May 1, Mupere reportedly visited the pastor, pretending to offer reconciliation. A neighbor alleged that the Muslim villager shared a dish with the pastor but had slipped poison in the food. Before he took his last breath, the neighbor said Pastor Byamukama had revealed that Mupere had stopped eating at some point but the pastor continued to eat.

"Ahmed took a little food with me and then stopped," the pastor told the neighbor. "When I asked him why not continue with the food, he said he had eaten at his home, and that he wanted go back home because it was getting late."

The Ugandan pastor began feeling stomach pains after Mupere left his house. He was brought to the health center but died later. A hospital nurse, who spoke under conditions of anonymity, said Pastor Byamukama died because of a toxic insecticide called organophosphate.

The case is still under investigation, but Mupere is now nowhere to be found.

The deadly poisoning is just one of the forms of attacks against Christians in Uganda. Last month, local Muslims slaughtered the pigs and destroyed a Christian church in Nalugondo village, Christian Today reports.

In Uganda, 85 percent of the population is made up of Christians and only 11 percent are Muslims. However, Christians are still not spared from persecution and violent attacks.

Inside Christian Daily