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Pastor Allegedly Poisoned over Church Building Plans

Posted by on May 4, 2021 — Drop A Comment

Muslims in eastern
Uganda upset with a pastor’s plans to
build a church on land they sought to
buy are suspected in his death by
poisoning, sources said.
Pastor Yolonim Oduchu was poisoned
on April 5 in Raraka village, Oloki Sub-
County, Pallisa District after he declined
to sell a five-acre lot within the Raraka
trading center to Muslims who wanted
to build a school and mosque on the
land, said his brother, Francis Okirya.
“Aliasa Opeduru and a number of
Muslims had approached my brother to
sell them the piece of land several
times, but my brother declined because
their offer was small, and he also
wanted to have part of the land set
aside for constructing a church
structure,” Okirya said. “Later my
brother received a threatening message
from Opeduru saying he would not
negotiate with him again.”
The Muslims had found a sponsor in
Turkey to fund the construction of the
mosque, he said.
Opeduru told Pastor Oduchu the
Muslims did not want a church building
close to their proposed mosque, but a
week later the pastor began clearing
the parcel of land, Okirya said.
A resident of Raraka village, Pastor
Oduchu usually ate at a small hotel at
the Raraka trading center when visiting
his land. The hotel is owned by a
The pastor’s wife said after a light
meal at the hotel on April 5, he arrived
home feeling ill.
“My husband took a motorcycle and
arrived at home complaining of severe
stomach pains, diarrhea and started
vomiting,” Mary Oduchu told Morning
Star News. “We rushed him to a nearby
clinic, and he succumbed to poisoning.”
Pastor Oduchu was the father of eight
children, ages 2 to 16.
After his burial on April 10, his brother
returned the following day to retrieve a
spade he had left there and found
blood sprinkled on top of the grave and
papers with writing in Arabic, Okirya

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Okirya called other mourners and
community members who were equally
shocked by the desecration.
“We then sought assistance from
police, who came with a sniffing dog
that directed the mourners up to
Opeduru’s home, where we found the
suspect inside the house sleeping,”
Okirya said. “When police asked him
about the blood, he admitted to pouring
the animal blood there because the
pastor didn’t respect him.”
Area sources said that when angry
residents questioned the hotel owner,
he confessed that Muslims had given
him poison and instructed him to put it
in Pastor Oduchu’s food.
Police arrested Opeduru in connection
with the killing, and soon irate
Christians and other community
members burned down his house,
Okirya said.
Mary Oduchu requested prayer and
financial help for living expenses and
the children’s school fees.
A Christian who has long provided aid
for persecuted converts from Islam
suffered a leg injury when a Muslim
motorist intentionally struck him on
April 24, he said.
Hassan Muwanguzi said that after the
motorist struck him as he was
returning home from Pallisa, passers-
by surrounded them, prohibiting the
motorist from escaping.
“The mob wanted to beat him, but he
shouted, saying, ‘This man has been a
trouble-maker to our Islamic religion,’”
Muwanguzi said. “Soon the police
arrived and arrested him.”
Some of the onlookers took him to a
hospital in Pallisa for treatment.
Muwanguzi has long received
threatening messages from Muslims
upset with his Christian outreach. One
recent one read, “You have been
converting Muslims to Christianity. We
have been warning you about this
several times. But you have refused to
heed to our directive, so be ready with
whatever action we are going to take.”
The suspect has been released on bail,
he said.
“I am still in great pain,” Muwanguzi
said. “I need help for buying a little
drugs for the leg. I am badly off.”
The assaults were the latest of many
instances of persecution of Christians
in Uganda that Morning Star News has
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
percent of Uganda’s population, with
high concentrations in eastern areas of
the country.

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