Father Tortures Teenage Daughter for Leaving Islam

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uganda photo of church attack cropped

uganda photo of church attack cropped
A 14-year-old girl in western
Uganda is still unable to walk 10 months after her father tortured her
for leaving Islam and putting her faith in Christ, according to area

Susan Ithungu of Isango village, Kasese
district, has been hospitalized at Kagando Hospital since October 2010
after neighbors with police help rescued her from her father, Beya
Baluku. He was arrested shortly afterward but quickly released, sources

Susan and her younger brother, Mbusa Baluku, lived
alone with their father after he divorced their mother. In March 2010 an
evangelist from Bwera Full Gospel Church spoke at Susan’s school, and
she decided to trust Christ for her salvation.

“I heard the
message of Christ’s great love of Him dying for us to get everlasting
peace, and there and then I decided to believe in Christ,” she said from
her hospital bed. “After a month, news reached my father that I had
converted to Christianity, and that was the beginning of my troubles
with him. Our father warned us not to attend church or listen to the
gospel message. He even threatened us with a sharp knife that he was
ready to kill us in broad daylight in case we converted to

Pastor Joseph Baluku of Bwera Full Gospel
Church in Kasese said neighbors took her to the government hospital
about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Kasese town after she was freed.

“He locked her up in a room of the semi-permanent house for six months
without seeing sunlight,” the pastor said. “The younger brother was
warned not to tell anyone that Susan was locked up in a room and was not
given any food.”

Young Mbusa said that when their father was away, he roasted bananas for his sister.

“I also dug a hole under the door, where I could pour water through,”
he said. “My sister could drink the water using her tongue. But most
days she could only feed on mud.”

A nearby resident who requested anonymity said neighbors became concerned after not seeing her for several months.

“Her brother then disclosed to us that Susan was locked up in one of
the rooms in the house,” the area resident said. “We then reported the
case to the Harukunggu local council and then to the Bwera police
station. The police went to the house and broke the door.”

Susan was immediately taken to the provincial government hospital about
17 kilometers (11 miles) away near Bwera town, where Pastor Baluku
visited her.

“The miserable young Susan was bony, very
weak, and not able to talk or walk,” said the pastor. “Her hair had
turned yellow, she had long fingernails and sunken eyes, and she looked
very slim, less than 20 kilograms [44 pounds].”

Members of
the Full Gospel Church in Bwera prayed for her and visited her in the
hospital, which like many government-subsidized hospitals in the region
does not customarily bill until the patient is discharged, and at rates
well below those of private hospitals. It is unknown when Susan will be
released, but Pastor Baluku said area residents and church members will
try to gather funds for medical costs incurred.

The pastor said billing from such government hospitals can often be deferred until enough money is raised.

“It could be a challenge, but we will try to do our best,” he said.

“By God’s grace Susan is still alive,” he said after a visit last
week. “Though she can’t walk, she can now talk. She is still feeding on
soft foods. The great news is that Susan is still strong in the Lord
Jesus Christ. She needs prayers and support so that she can resume her
education soon.”

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