Date: September 15, 2023
Assailants said he was not supposed to live, eyewitness says.
By Our East Africa Correspondent
Body of Philip Bere, evangelist killed by Muslim extremists on Sept. 6, 2023 near Katiryo, Uganda. (Morning Star News)
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Muslim extremists on Sept. 6 beat a 33-year-old evangelist to death for leading Muslims to faith in Christ at an event in eastern Uganda, sources said.
After the evangelistic event in Kituuti town, Philip Bere was pulled from his bicycle while returning to Katiryo, Kibuku District and killed when the assailants bashed him with a large rock, an eyewitness said.
Mudenya Sirasi, who had assisted Bere at the evangelistic event, was with him as the two neared Katiryo on the Kataka-Katiryo road. Sirasi said many people accepted Christ at the event, including Muslim women and two young Muslim men.
The two evangelists were ambushed at about 7:40 p.m., he said.
“We heard people talking from both sides of the road at a nearby bush saying, ‘They are the ones who converted our members today – they are not supposed to live, but to be killed,’” Sirasi told Morning Star News. “From nowhere, one man who was stationed in front of us grabbed our bicycle that we were riding on and hit Bere with a blunt object on his back.”
Bere fell as Sirasi jumped off the bike and entered a tunnel under a bridge, where he hid, he said.
“I could see the attackers brutally injuring my friend,” Sirasi said. “One of the attackers hit him with a big stone, and he bled to death.”
When the assailants left, Sirasi found the body of Bere in a pool of blood, he said. He alerted other area Christians and police, and officers took the body to a hospital for postmortem, Sirasi said.
The pastor of Bere’s church, unnamed for security reasons, said officers at the police station in Katiryo, Kibukuand took statements about the killing of the evangelist and that they were searching for the killers, who have gone into hiding.
“Our evangelist was killed because his passion for preaching the good news of Jesus Christ, especially to Muslims,” the pastor told Morning Star News.
Bere was well-known for his preaching among Muslims in Buseeta, Lwatama, Katiryo and other parts in eastern Uganda.
The attack 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 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.