In a Muslim populated village in Uganda, a young girl named Rehema is now living with her grandmother after she lost her father, who had recently converted to Christianity, to persecution. Rehema is now said to be an orphan since her mother is nowhere to be found and her father has ‘gone to be with the angels.’
According to a news report issued by Christian news, an International Christian Concern (ICC) arrived in the area late one evening, while the child was purchasing some items at a nearby Shopping Centre for her grandmother, Salima.
Rehema’s aunt, Aisha, told ICC that “Rehema has been sent by my mother to go and get some sugar before darkness arrives. She has been fine for months after her father died and her mother left without a trace.”
The report further stated that Aisha confided that Rehema’s father, Juma Hassan, “died from the brutal wounds caused by the family when he left Islam and started going to a church just across the road.”
This news understands that Juma was raised as a Muslim, as in the norm in any staunch Muslim family.
Nevertheless, a relative who wished to remain anonymous told ICC that, in April 2018, “He informed his wife that he had been preached to by a Christian pastor and he felt that he needed to put his trust in Christ. A few days later, he stopped going to the mosque and began attending Bible studies and church services. Juma’s father was very upset after learning about Juma’s new faith. He called all of us and led the meeting that excommunicated Juma, his wife, and his child.”
Aisha further lamented that her brother-in-law ‘went to live in another district far away from home.’
“During this time, he was not able to take care of the wife and young Rehema. Eventually, his wife informed him that she was not ready to suffer for a decision she did not make, and thus left him and Rehema. Until now, nobody knows where she disappeared to,” she said.
One of Juma’s neighbors confessed to having witnessed his father cursing him and ordering a group of men to beat him up, after which they demolished his house and took Rehema back to her grandmother.
As a result of the attack, the now dead man suffered injuries to the head and spine.
A local pastor added that in fear for his life, Juma left for Kenya to seek shelter and treatment, where he later succumbed to the injuries in May 2018.
“The church where he had started attending learned that the family had decided never to be associated with their son and nobody was bothered about going to Kenya to [retrieve] the body,” the pastor continued.
“After seeking consent from the family, the church looked for the body of Juma in Kenya and buried him at the church’s compound in Nakalooke district,” He said.
Rehema, who is in primary school, has been struggling to pay for her school fees and uniform ever since.
She is also lacking quality shoes and clothing. Distraught and lonely, she said, “I miss my father so much. I also want to become a Christian, but I fear my grandmother and other family members. I don’t know where my mama is and I hope that she is fine and she will come back home soon.”