Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Christian fears over sharia courts bill ...

Email:

Christian fears over sharia courts bill in Uganda

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Christian fears over sharia courts bill in Uganda

Country/Region: Africa, Uganda

Ugandan Christian leaders have warned that life will get worse for non-Muslims under proposed legislation that would give sharia rulings the force of law.

Uganda_crowd_4X3.jpg
Ugandan Christians fear the consequences of the Muslim Personal Law bill

The Muslim Personal Law bill would give more power to Islamic Kadhi courts for Muslims on matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance. Christians fear that it could promote Islamic extremism and pave the way for a wider application of sharia in the predominantly Christian country. Muslims, who comprise around 12 per cent of the population, have been evasive on how the bill would affect those who convert from Islam; apostasy is a "crime" punishable by death under Islamic law.

Rev. Umar Mulinde, a former Muslim, now pastor of a church in Kampala, has, along with leaders of the Ugandan Joint Christian Council, been pressing the country's parliament to reject the bill when it comes to a vote, probably later this year.

He said:

Let it not be a nationally enforceable law. Life will get worse for non-Muslims.

Opponents argue that the law would create two parallel legal systems, undermining Article 21 of the Ugandan constitution, which states that all people are equal under the law in all spheres of life. But Muslim proponents of the bill point to Article 129 of the constitution, which explicitly allows for the creation of Kadhi civil courts, although their decisions are not currently legally binding. Advocates argue that failure to enact the Muslim Personal Law will prevent them from practising their religion freely and could severely harm interreligious relations.

Following pressure from Christians, the draft bill was weakened to limit the remit of Kadhi courts to marriage, divorce and inheritance. Sewaya Muhamud, chairman of the Muslim Technical Committee on the Muslim Personal Law Bill, said it did "nothing to protect Muslim family values", adding, "We want to exercise our right to worship in accordance with the principles of Islam."

Kadhi courts will operate only at the magistrate level, with appeals being handled by a secular, higher court. But the Muslim Technical Committee is pushing for their remit to extend to high-court levels.

Relations between Muslims and Christians have generally been good under President Yoweri Museveni, but conflict surrounding the bill is threatening to destabilise religious harmony. The legacy of the brutal persecution suffered by Christians under Idi Amin's dictatorship in the 1970s and the backlash against Muslims under Milton Obote still cast a shadow over the two communities.

There has been controversy and tension over the issue of Kadhi courts in neighbouring Kenya, which is also predominantly Christian. A new constitution, which retained Kadhi courts despite a court ruling that they were discriminatory, was passed in a referendum last year.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Christian fears over sharia courts bill in Uganda

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Give thanks to the Lord that Barnabas Fund is able to help oppressed and persecuted Christian communities by providing grants to Christian students in higher education. Pray for those who have received this help in the past, that they will give a voice to their brothers and sisters and will help to resource, empower and protect them in the face of hostility. Ask that God’s sustaining grace will uphold those who are currently studying, often under severe pressure from the majority community, and pray that they may be equipped for spiritual leadership. Praise God for their dedication to His service, and ask Him to use them powerfully in their various vocations. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 15 hours ago

    • Almighty God, we pray that You will protect Your people in the Holy Land. We pray especially for the congregation of a church in Gaza City, whose church compound was attacked with a small explosive device on 26 February. We give You thanks that the church, school, nursery and pastor’s house were undamaged and that a fi re that was lit under the pastor’s car was extinguished when Christians came outside to investigate. We pray that the congregation may stand firm for You in the face of the threatening message that was written on the wall facing the church gate: “We’ll get you soon, O worshippers of the cross.” We ask that there will be no further attempt to attack this church or others in the area. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Taliban militants attempted to attack a Christian-run day-care centre in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 28 March, saying it was “a church used to convert Muslims to Christianity”. The attackers mistakenly targeted the next-door building, which houses workers on an agricultural and de-mining project, instead; two Afghan civilians, one a young girl, died in the crossfi re. All five Taliban bombers were also killed in the raid on the heavily-secured compound. The day-care centre that they were attempting to target, which is used by expatriates, is said to hold Christian worship services on certain days. Ask the Lord to change the hearts of those who plan and carry out terrorist attacks against Christians and other targets in Afghanistan; pray that they will turn instead to Him. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “He was always a light for Christ and he had a love and commitment that he expressed for the Afghan people because of that love for Christ.” The widow of Dr Jerry Umanos, an American doctor who was shot dead at the Christian-run hospital where he worked in Kabul, Afghanistan, spoke of her husband’s faith and ministry. Two visiting American Christians, father and son Gary and John Gabel, were also killed on 24 April when an Afghan security guard opened fire on the staff he was meant to be protecting. Pray for comfort for the grieving families of the three men, and ask the Lord to safeguard the future of the hospital, which provides much-needed medical care and also trains Afghan doctors and nurses. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “We ask all Christians and members of other faiths to reconsider their own beliefs and join Hinduism.” Krishna Hari Baskota, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister in Nepal, was speaking about the application process for a new identity card that will show citizens’ religious affiliation. Christians and members of other minorities will be subjected to greater scrutiny before obtaining the official documents and will be asked to reiterate their faith. One Christian rights activist said that the government is trying to discourage people from converting from Hinduism. Pray that the Nepalese authorities will not discriminate against Christians but will treat them on equal terms with the Hindu majority. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Jul 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks