A Ugandan teenager was reportedly locked up for months by his own family members after converting to Christianity.
The 17-year-old was found in a “dilapidated state,” according to a pastor who reportedly discovered the teen’s horrific detention during a Sept. 15 visit to the home.
The unnamed teen was reportedly shut inside for four months after his father found he had “accepted Christ,” Morning Star News reported.
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“His son was attending a boarding school in Iganga,” the outlet noted. “A teacher at the school phoned [the father] to report the conversion, and the boy was locked up upon a return visit home.”
Months after the detainment began, a pastor and his evangelistic team visited the home and weren’t permitted on the property. After returning to the house, though, the father allowed them in. That’s when they reportedly discovered a stench and found the teenager starving and in terrible shape.
“As we were praying, there was a very strong, bad smell in the house,” the pastor told Morning Star News. “Since we were many, we forcefully entered the inner room, where the smell was coming from and found a teenage boy in a dilapidated state.”
The team forcibly took the boy to a hospital, while other members learned from the family the teen had been tied up and starved after “making a public confession” and becoming a Christian.
This conversion from Islam reportedly enraged the family, leading to the purported treatment.
“The mother used to sneak in with only water but, when her son fell sick, she didn’t bring him medicine but insulted him by calling him an infidel to the family religion and that he should die,” the pastor told the outlet.
Perhaps the more remarkable detail, though, is that the father is said to have repented and become a Christian — a shocking conclusion to a tragic scenario. The ministry team said they will assess what actions to take next, legally speaking, as the situation is delicate and the father is now professing faith.
The focus right now, the pastor said, is helping the teen heal. Read more about the story here.
Be sure to pray for the unnamed teenager, his father, the family, and the evangelists helping navigate them through this troubling situation.
Persecution watchdog Open Doors said “persecution worsened slightly” in Uganda in the past year. However, the nation falls outside of the organization’s annual World Watch List ranking of the 50 worst countries for persecution around the globe.
Currently, Uganda ranks 69 on the group’s overarching list, as violence against Christians rages.
“Uganda is a majority Christian nation with many active churches,” Voice of the Martyrs noted in a country profile. “Radical Islam’s influence has grown steadily, and many Christians within the majority Muslim border regions are facing severe persecution, especially those who convert from Islam.”
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