Five Muslim men gang-raped and beat the teenage daughter of a Christian pastor in Uganda. This was done in “retaliation” to the pastor’s refusal to stop Christian worship services in a Muslim-majority region.
The girl (name withheld for security reasons) was approaching the New Hope Church building, where her father serves as pastor, around 7:30 p.m. on March 28 when she was abducted and taken to nearby bushes by the rapists.
In the 17-year-old girl’s own words:
The five Muslims took hold of me, and they raped me there. I tried to scream, but they threatened to kill me. One of them said, “Your father should stop this prayer meeting of trying to change Muslims to become Christians and close the church building – we have warned him several times.”
The suspects fled when church members arrived for an all-night prayer vigil. They rushed her to a local medical clinic, where she is being treated for serious injuries and remains traumatized. According to her father, the pastor, “The girl still has problems communicating. She just says a few words and then keeps quiet. She needs trauma counseling.”
Earlier, the father had received messages threatening him to cease holding Christian worship services. One text message said, “Be you informed that we do not want your church in this area. If you continue worship here, then you will live to regret it.”
The region where the rape took place, Budaka District, is about 65 percent Muslim and has been the site of other attacks on Christians. Muslims make up only 11.5 percent of Uganda’s total population, which is 85 percent Christian.