NAIROBI, Kenya (BP) — Islamists upset by a Christian-Muslim debate are suspected in the killing of a longtime evangelist in eastern Uganda who led many Muslims to Christ, sources said.
The body of Samson Nfunyeku was found close to his home in Kalampete village, Kibuku District, early Sept. 23 after the latest in a series of organized debates with Islamic scholars at Tirinyi Trading Center ended prematurely due to flaring tempers the previous night. He was 59.
At a previous debate among those sponsored by Nfunyeku’s Church of Uganda and other churches, Muslim leaders had threatened him and warned him to hold no more debates, a source said.
Nevertheless, another debate was held Sept. 22 and concluded at about 5:30 p.m. Colleagues estimated Nfunyeku was killed between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
He had head injuries and a mark on his neck indicating he was strangled, they said.
“We are going to miss the courage and passion seen in the life of Samson, who was out to win Muslims for Christ,” Gauma Samuel of the Church of Uganda’s Budaka Archdeaconry said at his Sept. 25 funeral service.
Nfunyeku is survived by seven children and 16 grandchildren.
His death is the latest in regular instances of persecution for converts from Islam to Christianity in eastern Uganda.