Ugandan Woman Murdered by Stepmother for Committing Her Life to Christ Is the Latest Victim in a String of Attacks on Christians in Uganda

On Sept. 18, 23-year-old Namata Habiiba attended a church service with a friend, where she gave her life to Christ.

That evening, after professing her new faith to her Muslim stepmother, the young woman ate what would become her last meal.

Habiiba’s stepmother had poisoned her.

The young woman, who had lived with her stepmother Namu Sauya since her parents’ death in 2019, had done something that is often met with horrific acts of domestic violence and murder in Uganda.

That is, she converted to Christianity from Islam in a region of the world where abandonment of the Mohammedan religion is viewed by many to be rightly punishable by death.

Her cruel stepmother, who appears to have since fled, took it upon herself to carry out this wicked act of Islamic vigilantism, something that is only the latest example of such violence, as Morning Star News reported.

Uganda has been the site of many such killings for some time, and, often buried under headlines of western cultural warfare, stories of Christians who are attacked or slain for their faith have come out of the country in a steady stream.

Last year, the elderly Bishop Francis Obo was slain on his way home from the market by several men who were enraged he had led a number of Muslims to Christ.

In June of last year, Hajat Habiiba Namuwaya, a former Islamic teacher who converted to Christianity after a pastor prayed over her as she suffered with breast cancer, was beaten and forced to drink poison by her own father, who denounced her, citing Koranic verses.

In December 2021, young mother Shamira Nakato was hanged along with her two young children after her husband discovered she’d been attending church and had given her life to Christ.

Last month, a group of evangelists were thrown overboard a ship and drowned by a group of angry Muslim passengers after they refused to denounce their Christian faith.

Just days before Habiiba’s death, an outraged husband beat and abandoned his young wife after discovering she’d been at an all-night prayer vigil the evening prior.

A few weeks later, evangelists were stabbed in an attack after leading several Muslims to Christ during a debate.

In June, a father killed his own daughter on the day she choose to accept Christ.

These are just a handful of examples of the ongoing violence against converts to Christianity as well as Christian evangelists in Uganda that have been documented by Morning Star News, an outlet that reports on global prosecution.

Although the nation is a majority Christian country, the country’s concentrated Muslim population in the eastern region of the country has long wielded powerful — and violent — influence over their communities, particularly when it comes to members who leave Islam to accept Christ.

Open Doors USA has described these districts as “essentially a self-governed sharia fiefdom” thanks to Uganda’s decentralized system of government.

According to Islamic sharia law, both apostasy and any criticism of Islam are punishable by death. Today, we see sharia law enforced both legally at the hands of the government, such as is the case in countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and socially as demonstrated in Uganda as well as dozens of other countries.

The worst country in the world to be a Christian, according to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List 2022, is Afghanistan, where even prior to the Taliban takeover in 2021 clan loyalty and a strict Islamic culture made life as a public Christian impossible — and conversion to the faith from Islam deadly.

In Uganda, Voice of the Martyrs explained, “Christian converts from Islam face pressure from family members and harassment in Muslim communities.”

“Several young people who converted to Christianity have been severely beaten and injured by parents or community members,” the humanitarian organization, founded by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand who survived years of torture in Soviet prisons in Romania, explained.

“Pastors and churches have been attacked, and some converts have been killed after their faith became known. The children of families who leave Islam are no longer welcome at school. In some areas, local laws are passed to limit the spread of Christianity or seize church land,” the group noted.

The fact that Uganda is purportedly 84 percent Christian makes the aggressive influence of its minority Muslims all the more chilling.

Thanks to the lasting influence of dictator Idi Amin who tried to “Islamacize” the country in the fashion of Lybia’s Muammar Gaddafi in the 1970s, the Ugandan parliament has passed Islamic banking laws that favor Muslim groups while Arab nations invest in the central African nation which furthers Muslim interest.

Meanwhile, as is the case in many destabilized African nations such as those in the nearby Sahel region like Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mozambique, ISIS-backed fighters rove weakly governed areas, killing and kidnapping Christians and ravaging villages in territorial in-fighting.

“Despite the risks, evangelical churches in Uganda have responded by reaching out to their neighbors; many churches are training leaders how to share the gospel with Muslims and care for those who are persecuted after they become Christians,” Voice of the Martyrs noted.

In the modern American culture wars, it can be easy to see our faith as a rallying cry against those who oppose our values and support policies. We can’t make light of the fact that the Democratic Party’s top ideological agenda is leading very quickly to First World Christian persecution, as disparate views on issues such as sexuality, gender and abortion have already led to disturbing violations of religious freedom, violent threats and targeted political attacks on the part of the federal government.

In reality, we do not battle against our flesh and blood ideological or religious opponents, but against the lies that blind them to the truth of Christ.

Ugandan Christians, showing a humbling love for the Gospel, choose to follow Christ in the face of immense social pressure to continue following Islam, showing the profound faith of the early church martyrs like Stephen, Paul, Polycarp and Perpetua, the latter of whom faced literal lions before an outraged crowd rather than denounce their faith to the world.

The thing about truth, all the more so the glorious truth of Jesus Christ’s Lordship, is that it remains true no matter how many outraged crowds clamor to stamp it out, and nothing defeats the powers and principalities of darkness that serve as our real enemies like professing the truth in face of the world’s attacks, no matter the cost.

I urgently encourage you to join me in prayer for the Christians of Uganda, Afghanistan, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, China and all the other countries where the choice to follow Jesus over the world can cost them their lives, as well as Christians here at home facing an ever-encroaching culture imposing heavy-handed compromise in the name of “tolerance” and “love.”

Those who deny the name of Christ can never defeat those who profess it, but we as Christians know that Jesus died for them, too, so let’s declare His love to the nations by unwaveringly bowing to His truth above all else, no matter the cost.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.