Muslim Imam converts to Christianity in Uganda; Resulting persecution sees him lose family, home and business

A former imam in eastern Uganda lost his family, home and business after his family and relatives found out he had become a Christian.

The 53-year-old Kuluseni Iguru Tenywa of Budhagali village, Jinja District said he escaped through a back door of his home after hearing the plans of his 45-year-old brother-in-law, Isa Nsaja, and relatives who gathered outside his house on the night of June 27.

A church bell hangs from a tree brunch outside a Catholic church and a school in Odek village, Uganda February 14, 2015 02:40pm EST | Reuters

"I heard people talking outside my house around 8 p.m., saying that they wanted to take away my life and said, 'We cannot watch the whole family turning to Christianity,'" he told Morning Star News.

The father of four children, ages ranging from 10 to 17, said his conversion to Christianity enraged his relatives and even his wife, Fatiyah, who started referring to him as an infidel and refused to give him food. He said his relatives also tried to prevent him from running his business and ruined his red pepper plantation on June 6.

Even after losing everything he once had, Tenywa said his family still attempted to hex him.

"The family even tried to bewitch me," said Tenywa. "But God protected me."

Tenywa, who attends Elim Church Budhagali, said Jesus rebuked an evil spirit that had been tormenting him for years.

"I was prayed for in the power of Isa [Jesus] and invited him into my heart, which broke the strength of the evil spirit that was troubling me," he shared. "I remember my vision got blurred and I felt faint. The pastor authoritatively, using some commanding words in Isa's name, finally delivered me."

According to the former imam, standing for what Jesus did for him gave him strength to resist his family and relatives who tried to talk him into turning back to Islam.

The eastern African country witnessed increasing incidences of Christian persecutions at the hands of Muslim hardliners.

A Muslim mob murdered a Christian woman in Naigobya village of Luuka District last month after refusing to allot her property for the building of a Muslim mosque. The Muslim in-laws of a Christian woman in Busandha village also in Luuka District poisoned to death her infant daughter for eating in the daytime of Ramadan.