Christian boy in Uganda feared killed by ritual sacrifice

Father claims witchdoctor murdered son and detained his daughter

A Christian boy has been killed after a woman said to be a radical Muslim – opposed to his father’s conversion from Islam – sold him and his sister to a witchdoctor for ritual sacrifice, sources told Morning Star News.

Sulaiman Pulisi, a former imam (mosque leader) who became a Christian three years ago, said that in July 2018 his daughter, then 13, and his then-11-year-old son, Abdulmajidu, disappeared from their home in eastern Uganda’s Kachiribong village, Kasasira Town in Kibuku District. Police rescued his daughter on September 16.

“We are mourning for our son who is alleged to have been sacrificed,” the crestfallen Pulisi told Morning Star News. “We are mourning with my daughter, who has been used as a sex object by the Muslim shaman.”

The identity of the suspected kidnappers remains unclear.

Pulisi’s daughter, whose name is withheld for security reasons, was rescued from the witchdoctor’s home in a village in western Uganda after a Christian shopkeeper there asked her where she had come from.

“A radical Muslim woman called Sania Muhammad [of Kasasira, in eastern Uganda] who had connections with Muslim men, used to look for children of converts from Islam and sell them to this particular Muslim witchdoctor,” the shopkeeper, Joseph Sodo, told Morning Star News – based on what police have told him about their investigations.

After being kidnapped, Pulisi’s daughter used to buy items from Sodo’s shop in western Uganda’s Nakalama village, Ntwetwe, Nankadwa Sub-County, Kyankwanzi District. One day, Sodo asked her where she had come from, he said.

She replied that she came from Kachiribong village in Kibuku District. When she entered the shop again a week later, he asked further about how she had come to live in Nakalama, he said.

“I was speechless to discover that the girl is from a born-again, former imam but stays with a well-known Muslim witchdoctor or shaman named Isifu Abdullah, who makes use of amulets and charms inscribed with verses of the Koran in warding off evil forces,” Sodo told Morning Star News.

Besides treating patients for a variety of mental and physical problems, Abdullah was known as a traditional “healer” who used trinkets, potions and incantations to counter financial and social ruin attributed to malicious spirits and other supernatural beings, according to Sodo.

Belief in evil spells and counter-spells is widespread in Uganda. Human sacrifices for blood and organs believed to get rid of especially harmful curses are increasingly reported.

Sodo said he was further alarmed when the girl told him that her brother had disappeared two months after they were brought to western Uganda.

“When my brother disappeared, Abdullah took me as his wife,” Sodo said the girl told him.

“At first the girl feared to disclose who her parents were, saying, ‘Abdullah warned me that I should keep his identity a secret, and that if I disclose his identity, then I will die,’” he said. “I promised her that Jesus will protect her, and nothing wrong will befall her. Then she gave me the phone number of her father.”

Sodo called police and Pulisi in Kachiribong village.

There are an estimated three million traditional “healers,” or witchdoctors, in Uganda.

After police rescued her from Abdullah on September 16, officers in western Uganda, Kampala and eastern Uganda discovered that Muhammad – in concert with other radical Muslims opposed to conversion from Islam – had sold the two children to Abdullah, Sodo said.

The traumatised girl said that after her brother disappeared from the place where they were living as hostages, she asked Abdullah where he was. According to Sodo, the only answer she received was “Allah who is all-knowing, knows.”

Sodo said police believe Abdullah offers human sacrifices as part of his witchcraft activities.

“He is feared by the residents of Ntwetwe,” he said.

Sodo told Morning Star News that Ntwetwe police in western Uganda have arrested Abdullah, and officers in eastern Uganda’s Kibuku District have arrested Muhammad. Both are awaiting charges. Police were searching for people connected with the two suspects.

There are an estimated three million traditional “healers,” or witchdoctors, in Uganda. Most human sacrifice is done by witchdoctors who use children’s blood, tissue or body organs in rituals, in the belief that they will bring protection or good fortune, a worker with a childcare ministry told SBS’ Dateline program.

The worker told SBS last year that his team investigates up to 25 cases of child sacrifice annually, though they fear there are many others unreported.

The kidnapping and killing of Pulisi’s children was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 per cent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.

*Morning Star News. Republished to permission.

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