Uganda Detains Imam After Killing Pastor

Thursday, June 24, 2021

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - Security officials in Uganda have detained an imam who confessed to killing an evangelical church leader this month for evangelizing among Muslims, several sources confirmed Thursday.

Bishop Francis Obo was senior pastor Mpingire Pentecostal Revival Church Ministries International in Odapako village before being murdered on June 11, Christians told Worthy News.

He also oversaw the ministry of 17 churches in the area. The church leader was killed after being approached by a group of Islamic militants as he was leaving a market with his wife, Christine, according to Christians familiar with the case.

Soon after, local police detained Imam Uthman Olingha, Christians said. The imam was reportedly found with blood on his clothes and shoes. Another suspect, named Jafari Kato, was also arrested, Worthy News learned.

The accused imam reportedly confessed to police, saying that he “did not regret killing the pastor” as “it was the will of Allah to kill any infidel who misleads Muslims.”

The victim’s wife also recalled that men told Bishop Obo that he was an "infidel" involved in “blaspheming” against Allah and causing Muslims to leave Islam. "Today, Allah has judged you," they reportedly added.

Christine said the militants ordered her to leave the area. “She quickly fled home, shaking and unable to speak. Her children took her to the hospital where she was treated for shock,” confirmed advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC) to Worthy News.

After regaining consciousness, she reportedly recalled that her eldest son went to the site with his siblings. They found a large number of Christians gathering around Obo’s human remains.

The murder came after Bishop Obo was targeted by extremists “because of his ministry,” stressed VOMC. “On June 4, his church hosted a former Islamic teacher who testified of his conversion to Christianity. Muslims passing by heard the teacher speaking Arabic and listened in,” the group added.

“Those who overheard the Christian convert's message likely informed other Muslims in the area, which led to Bishop Obo's murder,” VOMC explained.

The 70-year-old bishop leaves behind his wife and 13 children. They “are now in mourning along with the members of the numerous churches he led,” Christians said.

“Prayerfully uphold Christine and her children as they mourn the sudden loss of their cherished loved one,” VOMC wrote in a prayer request to supporters.

The group urged prayers for church members “and those of other surrounding congregations as they too recover from the shock of losing their esteemed pastoral leader.”

Christians said they pray that the late bishop’s work continues and that militants “will come to understand the love and grace of Christ.”

The latest murder came amid broader concerns about Islamic extremism in several parts of the African nation.