As the students at the Islamic University in Mbale, Uganda were hurrying to class, across town the family of Francis Namukubalo were remembering their beloved husband and father. Although it has been over a year since the brutal murder of Francis, the courts last month decided to reopen the case. The memories of that fateful day came flooding back, attacking their heart and soul with a vengeance.
Francis was the son of a well-known Islamic leader. In 1998 he came to know Christ and soon was ordained as a pastor of the United Kingdom Fellowship (UKF). Joining him, his entire family left their Muslim faith and converted to Christianity. Their passion to evangelize angered the Islamic community… that’s when the death threats began.
On the night of Sept 21, 2010 around 9:00pm, Francis succumbed to years of harassment and threats. Ambushed and killed by an angry mob, his severely maimed body was discovered the next day downstream in the Namatara River.
Prompt police investigations led to the arrest of seven suspects. However, through the powerful influence of Muslim leaders, two of the accused were released without just cause. Now, a year later the Public Prosecutor from the Mbale District, has called for the re-opening of the murder case.
Francis’ wife, Irene, pregnant with their fourth child at the time of his murder, is finding it emotionally difficult to cope with the loss of her husband. But mingled in her grief have been rays of hope. Given support from Open Doors, Irene is the proud owner of a young cow. Once baby Francis is weaned she plans to raise a herd as well as sell the milk to support her family.
November 13 is marked as a day of prayer for persecuted Christians, but you can do more by sending a letter of encouragement to Francis’ wife Irene and their children, Hannah, Bridget, Kevin and baby Franco.