A Pentecostal preacher who has converted thousands of Muslims to Christianity was disfigured when men shouting “God is great” in Arabic threw acid in his face in a Christmas Eve attack that has stoked religious tensions here.

The victim, Umar Mulinde, is a Muslim convert to Christianity and now a vocal critic of Islam. He is also a key figure in opposing the establishment of Islamic civil courts in this majority Christian country.

Christians say the attack on Mr. Mulinde is symbolic of the government’s failure to protect Christians from Muslim extremists, even in a country whose population is 85 percent Christian. They say Muslims refuse to accept the concept of religious freedom, especially the right to choose how one worships.

Mainstream Muslims say they practice a tolerant version of Islam and that violent thugs like the ones who attacked Mr. Mulinde do not represent them.

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