December 27, 2015 | Posted in:Persecution

arabic letter n 250NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – A pastor in eastern Uganda was hacked to death on Wednesday (Dec. 23) as he and other church members resisted an effort by Muslims to take over their land, area church leaders said.

In Nansololo village near Mazuba, in Namudumba District, Muslims erected a boundary fence with poles and barbed wire that included land of the Pentecostal Church Ministry (PCM), a church elder told Morning Star News. A church member who lives close to the church building telephoned pastor Bongo Martin, who immediately came to the site.

“Why are you encroaching on the church’s land and removing the boundary marks?” Pastor Martin asked. A church member said the imam answered, “We have told you many times that we do not want the church to be located near our mosque. Your church has been taking our members to your church.”

A Muslim named Abdulhakha Mugen then drew his sword and struck the pastor’s neck, church members said. Pastor Martin fell down bleeding, and after more sword blows and decapitation, he died. He was 32.

A crowd gathers where the body of pastor Bongo Martin was thrown into a river in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

A crowd gathers where the body of pastor Bongo Martin was thrown into a river in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

“When I saw such a brutal killing of my pastor, fear gripped me and, fearing for my life, I went to report the incident to Nabitende area police,” a church elder said.

Muslims threw Pastor Martin’s body into a nearby river at 10 a.m., sources said. He is survived by a widow and two children.

“When I arrived at the scene, the pastor’s body had just been thrown into the river, and many people came to witness the sad incident,” the church leader said. “Tension remains high in the area.”

The PCM church has documents showing it bought the disputed land from Kamya Ephraim for 3.4 million Uganda shillings (US$1,000), the church leader said.

“The church building extends to a nearby river that borders mosque land, and on several occasions we have been threatened that our church building should be removed from its present location,” the church leader said.

The church intended to establish an orphanage in the center of Nansololo, but plans are now on hold.

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