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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Morning Star News East Africa Correspondent

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 22, 2021 (Morning Star News) – Mansitula Buliro was preparing for Muslim evening prayers with her husband in eastern Uganda last week when she had a vision of Christ, she said.

The 13-weeks pregnant, 45-year-old mother of seven said that on that evening of Jan. 13 she first heard a loud voice saying “Yeshua,” Aramaic for Jesus, at her home in Obutete village, Agule County in Pallisa District.

“During the process a certain weakness entered my body, and then I saw a light coming from above, and I heard a loud voice saying, ‘Yeshua’ repeatedly,” Buliro told Morning Star News.

Her husband, shocked, came from the room where he was praying and asked her what had gone wrong, she said.

“I narrated what I saw, plus the voice,” Buliro said. “He immediately got hold of the Arabic Koran and started casting out the evil spirit which he thought had entered me.”

That night, she said, she saw another vision.

“At midnight I saw a bright light and a man dressed in white clothes crossing the river coming towards me, and He said, ‘Peace be upon you – today I have chosen you to be mine,’” she said.

Early the next morning she snuck out and visited her Christian neighbor, whose name is withheld for security reasons, and told her about the visions. The neighbor prayed with her, and Buliro put her faith in Christ, she said.

As Buliro was about to leave, she said, a Muslim neighbor knocked on the door and said, “Mansitula, I thought you were a Muslim – how come I heard prayers mentioning the name of Issa [Jesus]?”

The neighbor, a man, left immediately, and two hours later Buliro returned home. Her husband said to her that he had been told that she was now a Christian, she said.

“I kept quiet,” Buliro said. “My husband started slapping and kicking me indiscriminately. I then fell down. He went inside the house and came back with a knife and started cutting my mouth, saying, ‘Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar [jihadist slogan “God is greater”], I am punishing you to not speak about Yeshua in my house. This is a Muslim home.’”

As she shouted and screamed, her two youngest children, ages 6 and 8, also began screaming, and outdoor workers and neighbors arrived and stopped the attack, she said.

“There was blood all over from my mouth,” Buliro said. “My in-laws arrived, and in their presence my husband pronounced divorce: ‘Today you are no longer my wife. I have divorced you. Leave my house, or I will kill you.’”

A neighbor took her by motorcycle to a nearby hospital.

“I was examined, and they found that my fetus had been affected, and after four days I had a miscarriage,” Buliro said. “It is now very difficult to reunite with my family. I am now Christian, and I have decided for Issa’s cause.”

Her other five children are ages 10, 13, 17, 19 and 23.

Weak and requiring more medical care, Buliro is staying with Christians at an undisclosed location, an area source said.

The assault 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.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit http://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at https://morningstarnews.org/donate/?

Article originally published by Morning Star News. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

J.D. Greear’s Summit Church to Investigate Hiring of New Pastor Accused of Mishandling Sex Crime Allegations

The Summit Church in North Carolina has hired a global investigation firm to conduct an independent review of the recent hiring of Pastor Bryan Loritts, who is accused of mishandling sex crime allegations at another church, The Christian Post reports.

Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear leads the North Carolina church.

“At the recommendation of trusted advocates, we have engaged the firm Guidepost Solutions …. This firm was recommended to us based on their independence from any geographic location, entity or denominational affiliation, and because of their expertise in investigations and assessing institutional processes and dynamics specifically related to sexual harassment, abuse, and assault,” the church said in a statement Wednesday.

Loritts was hired in May 2020 as executive pastor of teaching and development at The Summit Church.

In 2018, Loritts’ brother-in-law, Dwayne Rick Trotter, pled guilty to four misdemeanor counts of unlawfully photographing women under their skirts in 2016 at Downtown Church in Tennessee. Trotter served as a worship leader at the Memphis church.

Previously, Trotter had been fired from Fellowship Memphis Church for similar behavior in 2010. Loritts worked as senior pastor at the church during that time.

Loritts reportedly tried to discourage one of Trotter’s accusers from reporting the incident and also tried to destroy evidence.

Leader pastor and elder John Bryson said the evidence was not destroyed and Loritts was “removed from the matter” because he was a family member.

Greear, meanwhile, said he knew about the criticism about Loritts, but he trusted the church’s vetting process.

“Pastor Bryan is a gifted pastor and church leader who has a great love for God’s people and for God’s purposes. He has been a leader in the movement of churches seeking to reflect the gospel through multiethnic reconciliation, a true reconciliation that demonstrates the power of the gospel to bring people together as one. He is also a pastor and leader who has been matured by experience and demonstrates the humility that we all need to continue to grow in grace,” Greear wrote in 2020.

Photo courtesy: J.D. Greear Facebook


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

JOS, Nigeria, January 21, 2021 (Morning Star News) – A professor at a Christian university has reportedly been released after being kidnapped in Nigeria, which leads the world in abductions of Christians, sources said.

John Fatokun, professor of computational mathematics and numerical analysis and deputy vice chancellor of Anchor University in Lagos, was released on Wednesday (Jan. 20) after suspected Fulani herdsmen captured him on Monday (Jan. 18) as he travelled from Jos to Nasarawa state.

“Despite the experience, my faith remains unshakable,” Fatokun told reporters today, according to Legit, a Nigerian news outlet. “We will continue to work, pray and raise godly men and women who are destined to change the narratives and make Nigeria a better place for the generations ahead.”

Fatokun did not identify his captors, but Muslim Fulani herdsmen have been active in Nasarawa state.

Anchor University’s assistant registrar and head of strategy and communications, Okesola Sanusi, reportedly said that Fatokun was freed after serious prayers were offered on his behalf.
Anchor University on Wednesday (Jan. 20) confirmed his release on the school’s Facebook page.

“To the glory of God, the deputy vice-chancellor, Anchor University, Professor J.O. Fatokun, has been released,” the post states.

The Christian university professor was kidnapped as he traveled from Jos, Plateau state to Keffi town in Nasarawa state, north-central Nigeria. He was reportedly captured at about 9 p.m. in Nasarawa state’s Kurmi Shinkafa village, Kokona County, as he was on his way to Keffi to drop off one his children at a high school; he had planned to then return to his university post in Lagos, in southwestern Nigeria.

Anchor University stems from Deeper Life Christian Ministry, with the Rev. Dr. Williams Kumuyi as general overseer. Though details of Fatokun’s release were not released, Anchor spokesman Sanusi said earlier this week that the captors were demanding 20 million naira (US$52,177) as ransom from Deeper Life Bible Church.

Nigeria led the world in number of kidnapped Christians last year (November 2019-October 2020) with 990, according to Christian support organization Open Doors. In the organization’s 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke into the top 10 for the first time, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year.

A kidnapped pastor who had previously been reported as freed remains in the hands of his captors, Morning Star News has learned. Members of the Rev. Polycarp Zongo’s Church of Christ in Nigeria had reported that the pastor, kidnapped in Gombe state on Oct. 19, was released, but he remains captive.

Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith according to the 2021 World Watch List, with 3,530, up from 1,350 in 2019. In overall violence, Nigeria was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed, 270, according to the list.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit http://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at https://morningstarnews.org/donate/?

Article originally published by Morning Star News. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy: ©Morning Star News

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