January 15, 2012, Updated September 11, 2012

An evangelical pastor from Uganda turned to Israeli doctors for help, following an acid attack that severely burned his face, torso, and damaged his right eye. Pastor Umar Mulinde, who preaches support for Israel in his home country, is set to undergo surgery this week at Tel Aviv’s Sheba Medical Center.

Mulinde after arson attack.

Israeli doctors say Mulinde will require at least 10 skin grafts to reconstruct his face and eyelid, as well as additional eye surgery.

Mulinde before attack.

Mulinde, who grew up Moslem and converted to Christianity, was attacked with acid on Christmas Eve in Kampala.

“I was attacked by a man who called out to me shouting ‘Pastor, Pastor,’ and I turned to see who he was,” said Mulinde. “Then he poured acid which burnt part of my face. As I turned away from the attacker, another man poured liquid on my back and ran away shouting ‘Allah Akhbar’ (God is great).”

The 38-year old Mulinde was hospitalized at International Hospital Kampala, but needing more advanced medical treatment he appealed to come to Israel.

Mulinde contacted JerusalemOnlineU.com Executive Director Andrea Gottlieb of Philadelphia for financial and logistical help. After all, it was through the online portal for Jewish distance learning that Mulinde had first learned about Israel.

Gottlieb got in touch with Prof. Zeev Rotstein, director of the Sheba Medical Center. Mulinde is now staying free-of-charge at the hospital — and all his treatments will be covered for him.

“Pastor Mulinde uses our courses to share his love for Israel with others. He is a devoted and loyal friend of Israel. We quickly responded to the Pastor’s urgent needs, and are grateful that he is now receiving the best medical treatment in the world,” said Gottlieb.

The son of an Islamic Imam, Molinde is today a critic of the religion. He teaches courses about Judaism at his Gospel Life Church International and organized a 5,000-person teach-in about Israel in a local stadium.

“I am sure that we can rehabilitate him and perhaps help him regain his eyesight,” said Prof. Zeev Rotstein, the director of Sheba Medical Center. “Our hospital is very active and experienced in delivering medical assistance beyond Israel’s national boundaries, including from Arab countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel.”

More on News

Fighting for Israel's truth

We cover what makes life in Israel so special — it's people. A non-profit organization, ISRAEL21c's team of journalists are committed to telling stories that humanize Israelis and show their positive impact on our world. You can bring these stories to life by making a donation of $6/month. 

Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

Read more: