Tens of thousands of these stories go untold, every day.
Ugandan Girl Tortured for Christ Regaining Use of Leg Compass Direct (hat tip Mara)
Released from hospital, Susan Ithungu takes steps with support.
BWERA, Uganda, January 17 (CDN) — A 15-year-old Christian girl in western Uganda who lost the use of her legs after her father locked her in a room for six months for leaving Islam has begun to take tentative steps.
Susan Ithungu of Isango village, Kasese district, had been hospitalized since September 2010 after neighbors along with police rescued her from her father, Beya Baluku, who had given her hardly any food or water. He was arrested shortly afterward but quickly released. She and her younger brother, Mbusa Baluku, lived alone with their father, who was divorced from their mother.
In March 2010, Susan had trusted Christ for her salvation – prompting her father to threaten to slaughter her publicly with a knife. Pastor Joseph Baluku of Bwera Full Gospel Church in Kasese said neighbors who discovered that the girl was locked in a room with almost no food or water notified authorities.
After her release, they took her to a hospital on Sept. 6, 2010. She would not be discharged from hospital care until Oct. 19, 2011.
After Compass published her ordeal on Aug. 11, 2011, several individuals and ministries came forward to help her (see www.compassdirect.org, “Girl in Uganda Loses Use of Legs after Leaving Islam for Christ,” Aug. 11, 2011). She now lives in a rented house in an undisclosed location.
“I thank all those who have continually supported me spiritually, materially and even morally,” Susan said. “I am also thankful to Biira Dreda, who stood by me in the hospital, and to date she is still with me when none of my family members has come to see me. I now take Dreda as my mother because of her care and love. My own people have abandoned me.”
Jacob Mukobi, who works with Uganda police as a child protection volunteer, was tipped off that Susan had been locked up in the house for six months.
“When I got the horrifying message about Susan that she had been put under house arrest for converting to Christianity, I went with the police to the house on Sept. 6, 2010 and took her to Bwera hospital,” he said.
Her father, he said, is not ready to take her back.
“A neighbor heard Susan’s father saying that she will be accepted back to the family only if she recants the Christian faith and rejoins Islam,” he said.
When Mukobi asked Susan’s father about his mistreatment of her, he said only that he was upset by her conversion to Christianity, Mukobi said.
“I do not like my daughter calling herself Susan and leaving her Muslim name, Aisha,” Mukobi said Baluku told him.
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