“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things”—Philippians 3:8
When St. Paul wrote the above in his letter to the Christians of Philippi, he and the early church were being persecuted (Paul was eventually executed in Rome). While today’s Western Christians still quote his words in the context of their daily struggles, an increasing number of Christians around the world, especially the Muslim world, are still literally losing absolutely everything for their faith.
Beheading of St. Paul
In Christian-majority Uganda, matters have gone from bad to worse to murderous. The plight of Hassan Muwanguzi, for instance, a Muslim convert to Christianity—whose initial sacrifices are recorded in Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (page 131)—far from abating, has only gotten worse.
After earning a university degree in Islamic law and then, in 2003, when he was in his early 20s, converting to Christianity, his family immediately threw him out of their home. “Enraged Muslims” beat him. Later that same year, his wife left him and he lost his job as a teacher at Nankodo Islamic School, near Pallisa.
This was just the beginning. Picking up the pieces of his life and moving on, he eventually opened a Christian school, Grace International Nursery and Primary School, near Muslim-majority Mbale. Accordingly, “The Muslims have tried to use all kinds of threats to make me close the school—first they used witchcraft,” said Hassan. “This did not work, so then they tried to discourage Muslims from bringing their children to the school, saying that the school was converting Muslim children to Christianity by teaching Christian Religious Education.”
When all else failed, in 2011 an Islamic teacher, Sheikh Hassan Abdalla, filed a false charge claiming that Hassan had “defiled” the sheikh’s young daughter. Together with his fellow Muslim countrymen, the Islamic cleric filed a case at the chief magistrate’s court. Hassan was subsequently arrested and incarcerated for three weeks.
But because Sheikh Abdalla, his accuser, repeatedly failed to appear in court to testify, Hassan was released. In his words: “The judge found out it was a false accusation, hence the case was dropped. I had been subjected to humiliation, but I forgave them for the sake of my Christian outreach in the area.”
The next Islamic attack came a few months after Hassan was acquitted. First, the owner of the land where Hassan had built his Christian school denied ever having sold it, leading to a court order to close down the school in May, 2012. This incurred great losses on Hassan. The month after, in June, the Christian convert’s home was burnt down by three Muslims… Keep reading