An evil spirit tormented Imam Kuluseni Tenywa for many years. Out of desperation, he visited Elim Church in his village in late May 2016.
“I was prayed for in the power of Issa [Jesus] and invited him into my heart, which broke the strength of the evil spirit that was troubling me,” he told Morning Star News.
The strong man would not leave him without a fight, however. “I remember my vision got blurred and I felt faint. The pastor authoritatively, using some commanding words in Issa’s name, finally delivered me.”
When the story of Tenywa’s conversion reached his family and other relatives, they were infuriated and told him he must return to Islam. How could he leave the religion of his clan? they asked.
“I can not deny what Jesus has done for me,” he replied.
The harassment of the former imam began to build, even from his own wife, Fatiyah, and his children. “Fatiyah started provoking me. My wife even refused to give me food and began calling me an infidel,” he told Morning Star.
Family members so opposed his newfound faith they had tried to cast spells on him, he told Morning Star.
Tenywa began to regularly attend Elim Church Budhagali, which further enraged his family. On June 6 they damaged his red pepper plantation and store and forcibly prevented him from cultivating his portion of land.
The former imam registered a complaint with the authorities, who intervened without effect.
Then he overheard his relatives plotting to kill him, led by his brother-in-law. They gathered outside Tenywa’s house one night, with murderous intent. “I heard people talking outside my house around 8 p.m., saying that they wanted to take away my life.
He overheard them say, “We cannot watch the whole family turning to Christianity.”
Tenywa escaped through a back door.
“I had to flee that night, leaving my entire family behind,” said the 53-year-old father of four children.
Now he sits alone in a small shanty in eastern Uganda after losing everything – all because he left Islam for Christianity.
Tenywa has no work, no meals and no wife and children. “The family even tried to bewitch me,” he said. “But God protected me.”
About 85 percent of the people in Uganda are Christian and 11 percent Muslim, with some eastern areas having large Muslim populations. The country’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another, but Christians in eastern Uganda are suffering continual attacks by non-state figures.
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