On December 24, 2011, Christmas Eve, Rev. Omar Mulinda addressed a congregation of 300 Christians at one of Uganda’s biggest churches. Mulinda is highly regarded as an impressive orator, and thousands come to hear his sermons.
Preparations were well underway to celebrate Christmas the following day, but the anticipation and joy were soon replaced with sadness when, as Mulinda recounts: “I left the church early. I was about to enter my vehicle and drive home when… but then they poured a bucket full of acid on my head.”
Unfortunately for the 41-year-old Mulinda, this attack was not the end of the persecution against him, which ultimately made him a famous reverend in Uganda.
Mulinda was the 52nd of 54 children (!) in a highly respected Muslim family. His mother was the daughter of the great imam. He was brought up Muslim and was slated to become a clergyman.
In 1993, Mulinda mustered up the courage and secretly converted to Christianity. But his secret was not kept for long — on his very first day at church, as he was exiting the building after prayer, some of his Muslim friends spotted him and reported him to the Muslim community. At that moment, Mulinda’s personal version of hell began. At first it was just his family, which renounced him. Then it was violent persecution, which peaked with the acid attack on that fateful Christmas Eve.
“I felt a fire burning inside me,” he says. “With my last remaining strength I tried to flee to my office at the church, but as I was running my attackers flung more acid on my back — in an effort to kill me. I tripped, but I managed to get to my office while they yelled out ‘Allahu akbar’. That is when I realized that these men were Muslim terrorists.”
Two days later, a letter was left at the church, saying “We are sorry to learn that you are still alive. We wanted you to die, but Allah will give us the strength to complete the task.” The letter listed four reasons for the act of terror: 1. Omar converted to Christianity; 2. He is promoting a love for Israel; 3. He preaches against Muslims (they claim); 4. He dared question Shariah law as it appears in the constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
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