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Two Christians in Eastern Uganda Killed by Radical Muslims

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Uganda– Radical Muslims from Lugonyola village (eastern Uganda) beat and drowned 25-year-old pastor Peter Kyakulaga and 22-year-old church member Tuule Mumbya. These two Christians were drowned in a lake on the outskirts of Lugonyola village in the Gadumire Sub-County, Kaliro District. The incident took place on Monday night, June 22nd but reports were not released until last week. Muslims warned Christians to stop evangelizing in the area. According to one of the pastor’s relatives, one of the Muslims told Christians a day before the assault, “We have discovered that your mission is not to fish but to hold Christian meetings and then convert Muslims to Christianity. We are not going to take this mission of yours lightly. This is our last warning to you.”

The Christian community of Namuseru village had come up with a strategy of bringing the gospel to Muslims. they decided that they would cross the lake that separated their two villages to go fishing and as they interacted with Muslims near Lugonyola village, they would invite them to evangelistic meetings.

David Nabyoma, chairperson of the local council from Namuseru village and a member of the church of Uganda told Morning Star News (MSN) that Christian friends knocked on his door at 10 p.m. the night of June 22. He stated the following, “They were requesting help, saying Muslims from Lugonyola had invaded the area around the lakeside, and several Christians were reported to have been injured, including my son. Immediately we rushed to the scene of the incident with several Christians. We hired four boats and drove to the lake and found out that two of the Christians had been badly beaten and drowned in the lake and died instantly.”

Pastor Peter Kyakulaga led the Church of Christ congregation in the area, he leaves behind his wife and two children (a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old). Church member Tuule Mumbya left behind his wife and a 2-year-old child. On the morning of June 23rd, Christians gathered to plan retaliation, but local officials intervened and called the police to ease tensions. The district police commander, resident district commissioner, and local leaders condemned the killings. According to MSN, this assault was the latest instance of Christians being persecuted in Uganda.
Sources:Persecution

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750 killed at Ethiopian Orthodox church said to contain Ark of the Covenant: report

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Around 750 people were killed in an attack on an Orthodox church, which is said to contain the Ark of the Covenant described in the Book of Exodus in the Bible, in northern Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region — home to thousands of churches and monasteries — according to reports.

Hundreds of people hiding in Maryam Tsiyon Church in Aksum amid an armed conflict were brought out and shot to death, and local residents believe the aim was to take the Ark of Covenant to Addis Ababa, the Belgium-based nonprofit European External Programme with Africa reported in this month’s situational report, released on Jan. 9.

“The number of people killed is reported as 750,” it said. The church, the most ancient and sacred of Ethiopian Christianity and also known as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, belongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

“I’ve not heard more than rumours about the looting of the Arc from Maryam Tsion, but if it’s true that up to 750 died defending it, it is conceivable that the attackers didn’t stop there,” said Michael Gervers, a professor of history at the University of Toronto, according to The Telegraph.

“The government and the Eritreans want to wipe out the Tigrayan culture. They think they’re better than rest of the people in the country. The looting is about destroying and removing the cultural presence of Tigray,” Gervers explained.

Former BBC World Service Africa editor and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Martin Plaut, said that those who escaped the Aksum massacre had reported that the attack began after Ethiopian federal troops and Amhara militia approached the church, the U.K.’s Church Times reported.

“People were worried about the safety of the Ark, and when they heard troops were approaching feared they had come to steal it. All those inside the cathedral were forced out into the square,” Plaut was quoted as saying.

About 1,000 people were believed to be in the church complex at the time of the attack. The EEPA said the massacre was carried out by Ethiopian federal troops and allied Amhara militia that are fighting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

The church and and the Ark have likely not been damaged, Plaut added.

The fighting began in Tigray since Nov. 4 when the region’s ruling political party Tigray People’s Liberation Front captured the Northern Command army base in the regional capital Mekelle as part of an uprising, after which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive. Abiy claimed on Nov. 28 that the Ethiopian National Defense Force had regained “full command” of Mekelle.
Sources:Christian Post

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Charges dropped against deacon arrested for singing hymns outdoors

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A court has dismissed all charges against a church deacon who was one of the three arrested last September for singing while not wearing a mask at a “psalm sing” outdoor worship service held in Moscow City, Idaho.

The Idaho District Court dropped charges against Gabriel Rench in the case State of Idaho v. Gabriel Rench. The deacon was arrested at an event hosted by Christ Church and held outside City Hall in response to the extension of a COVID-19-prompted mask mandate imposed by Moscow’s mayor at the time, the law firm Thomas More Society, which represented the church, said.

“We had done the Psalm sing in the past under the same [mask] resolution and we weren’t arrested, we weren’t warned … we were just taking our constitutional liberties to do what we’re allowed to do under the Constitution — worship,” Rench said, referring to the event that was attended by about 200 people.

The city of Moscow, “appears to have been so anxious to make an example of Christ Church’s opposition to their desired COVID restrictions that they failed to follow the mandatory exemptions articulated in their own laws,” Thomas More Society Special Counsel Michael Jacques noted.

“The Moscow City Code allows the Mayor to issue public health emergency orders, but exempts ‘[a]ny and all expressive and associative activity that is protected by the United States and Idaho Constitutions, including speech, press, assembly, and/or religious activity,’” Jacques explained. “Mr. Rench and the other worshipers who were arrested had their constitutionally protected liberties violated and their lives disrupted — not only by the inappropriate actions of law enforcement officers, but also by city officials who did not immediately act to correct this unlawful arrest.”

After Rench and others were arrested in September, the church wrote on its Facebook page: “Yesterday Christ Church sponsored a flash psalm sing at city hall. We were going to appear there at quarter to [5 p.m.], sing three psalms or hymns, then the doxology, and then out. The songs were Psalm 20, Psalm 124, and ‘Amazing Grace.’ When we arrived, the police were waiting for us. One of them informed me that people either had to social distance or wear a mask or otherwise face a citation.”

Douglas Wilson, who wrote the post, added: “I told him that I would inform everyone of that, which I did. I said a brief prayer, and we began to sing. Over the following 15 minutes of singing, three of our people were arrested, and two others were cited.”
Sources:Christian Post

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