Stories

Sheikh in Uganda Risks His Life to Confess Christ

February 27, 2018 by Lindy Lowry in , ,

From the age of seven, Hussein* (now 68) attended madrassa (Islamic religion) classes. After finishing school in 1977, he received a scholarship for further studies in Saudi Arabia. There, he had exposure to radical Islam.

But it never set well with Hussein.

An Eternity-Altering Turning Point

In Saudi Arabia while studying Islamic Apologetics, he came across a reference to Isa in the Muslim Quran and Jesus Christ in the Bible. At that point, he began to question Islam–an act that worried his lecturers.

Soon after the fall of Ugandan dictator, President Idi Amin Dada, Hussein lost his scholarship and was deported to Uganda where he started teaching Arabic and Islam at local schools. Later, he became the leader of one of the largest mosques in the district. But for almost 30 years, Hussein says, he lived with a “restless heart,” desiring to discover and learn more about Jesus.

His silent seeking led him to what would be an eternity-changing turning point. One day in 2006, Hussein attended an open-air Christian-Muslim religious dialogue. He shares with us his story in his own words:

“A pastor shared the gospel with us and explained the deity of Jesus in relation to God the Father in the Bible. My heart was filled with joy because the questions that had been plaguing my heart for so long were answered! In my excitement, I shared the message with a Muslim friend, also a sheikh, who cautioned me to never speak to him about Jesus again.

“When the pastor invited us for a dialogue the second time, I asked to meet with him separately. He agreed. During our meeting, I told him I wanted to give my life to Jesus. He led me in a prayer of confession, and I formally accepted Christ as my Savior.

“I continued to attend the Muslim-Christian dialogue but did not tell any of my friends about my new faith. I kept it a secret for 10 years, but in 2016 during another religious dialogue, I formally declared myself to be a Christian.”

‘I Am Secure in God’s Hands’

The news quickly spread and immediately Hussein received threats.

“In July 2017, I offered my land to build a church. When the community got wind of this, they threatened to burn the pastor’s vehicles. But God used the county leaders to prevent the mob from causing destruction. That same night, three young men dressed in black with their faces covered came looking for me. They told my wife they wanted Bibles and heard that they could get them from me. But my wife was suspicious and didn’t tell them where I was. We later learned that the young men had been sent to kidnap and kill me for apostasy. I learned that a fatwa (death sentence) had been called out against me.”

Hussein sent his wife and children to live with relatives while he fled to a nearby refugee camp.

“No matter what I’m going through now, I know God is in control … Although my life may be in danger, I know I am secure in God’s hands. Although I am old and have lost everything after clan leaders took my land, I have hope. I also know that the best gift I will ever give my Muslim family and friends is the Bible. I appreciate and thank God for this pastor and fellow Christian brethren who are currently taking care of my needs. May God bless them greatly. Please Christian brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ, remember me in your prayers…”

Hussein is being cared for by a pastor that has been through Open Doors’ cross-cultural outreach and New Believer Care program. Thank the Lord for this pastor’s faithfulness in caring for Hussein and pray for the Lord’s protection over them both–and that the Lord will use both of these faithful leaders to extend His Kingdom in Uganda.

Name and photo are representative only for security reasons.

To get prayer updates like this about persecution in Africa and around the world, click here.

Share Your Comment