Citation: 2021 RLLR 2
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: May 12, 2021
Panel: Suraj Balakrishnan
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Johnson Babalola
RPD Number: TB9-27084
Associated RPD Number(s): N/A
ATIP Pages: 000045-000052
REASONS FOR DECISION
 The claimant, XXXX XXXX alleges that he is a citizen of Uganda, and is claiming refugee protection in Canada pursuant to sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
 Having considered all of the evidence, the panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the claimant has established that he would face a serious possibility of persecution in Uganda because of his religion.
 The specifics of the claim are set out in the narrative of the claimant’s Basis of Claim Form, as amended.1 The following is a summary of the claimant’ s allegations.
 The claimant alleges to be a citizen of Uganda. He fears being persecuted by the Tabliq, a fundamentalist faction of Ugandan Muslims, because of his Christian proselytization efforts.
 The claimant’s personal identity and nationality have been established, on a balance of probabilities, through his testimony, as well as documentation filed; namely, a certified true copy of his Ugandan passport.2
 The panel finds that there is a nexus between the harms that the claimant fears and his religious views and practices. The claim will therefore be assessed pursuant to section 96 of IRPA. The test under section 96 is whether there is a serious possibility of persecution should the claimant return to Uganda and the panel has found that the claimant has met that test.
Identity as a Christian
 When a claimant affirms to tell the truth, this creates a presumption of truthfulness unless there is evidence to the contrary. The claimant testified in a detailed manner consistent with his BOC about growing up as a Christian and becoming more interested in Christianity during his university days in the United Kingdom. The claimant testified that he became more interested in Christianity in the UK because he would encounter Muslims proselytizing, and he wanted to learn more about Christianity so that he would be able to defend his faith in these discussions.
 The claimant was asked basic questions about Christianity, including the most recent church service he attended, the contents of the sermon, his favorite story from the Bible, and Easter. The claimant’s responses were very detailed. The claimant also provided a copy of his Certificate of Baptism from XXXX XXXX XXXX3, as well as a supporting letter form XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX in Canada.4 The panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the claimant is a genuine practicing Christian.
Proselytism and Incidents
 When the claimant returned to Kampala, Uganda, he went to a park on three occasions with a friend during May of 2019 where Muslims were proselytizing. On the first visit to the park, the claimant shared his views of Christianity with two of the Muslim proselytizers who were old friends of the claimant’s friend. The claimant did not sense any hostility from the two Muslim proselytizers; they shared a ride back to their respective homes as they had to go in the same direction. On his subsequent visit to the park, the claimant, in his efforts to defend and spread Christianity to the same two Muslim proselytizers, criticized, among other things, the Prophet Muhammad. In response, the Muslim proselytizers became angry and threatened to kill the claimant for insulting the honor of the Prophet Muhammad. The claimant and his friend left the park and decided to visit the park on another day so that they could preach to different Muslim proselytizers. On a third visit to the park, five or six Muslim proselytizers were expressing angry comments and threatening the claimant.
 After his last effort to proselytize, the claimant testified that several incidents took place. First, his security guard informed him of two people behaving suspiciously near the claimant’s home. While the claimant was briefly away in Nigeria to attend a Christian service that he believed would bless him for his personal safety, his mother informed him of an acid attack near her home that she believed, after speaking to others in the area, was an attack intended for the claimant and carried out by the Tabliq. The claimant returned to Uganda and hid in his mother’s home, whereafter there were two additional incidents, including finding a padlock at his mother’s home tampered with and hearing some commotion outside his mother’s home along with Islamic chants. His friend later informed him that these were attempts made by the Tabliq.
 The claimant’s testimony about his proselytization efforts was detailed, consistent with his BOC, and his responses to matters not set forth in his BOC was candid. In particular, the claimant was very detailed in testifying about what he said in his efforts to proselytize. The claimant’ s testimony about the incidents that followed was consistent with his BOC and somewhat detailed, and the claimant was emotionally expressive in his testimony.
 The claimant provided supporting documentation to corroborate his proselytization efforts and the incidents that ensued, including an affidavit from his mother,5 attesting to the incidents that occurred near her home, as well as an original physical copy of a newspaper article in the newspaper titled XXXX XXXX,6 which contains the claimant’s photo and states, apparently based on information provided by the claimant’ s relatives, that the claimant insulted the Prophet Muhammad and has fled Uganda in fear of retaliation from the Tabliq. The claimant testified that the newspaper is circulated nationally, and that the author of the article likely found out about his situation through his mother. The panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that these documents help corroborate the claimant’s allegations regarding his proselytization efforts and the incidents that followed.
 Specifically, the panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the claimant engaged in proselytization efforts; that in the course of proselytizing, he expressed views critical of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad; and that he faced retaliation from the Tabliq.
 Given the credible testimony by the claimant, as well as the corroborating documentation cited above, the panel finds the claimant to be a credible witness. Therefore, the panel believes what the claimant has alleged in support of his claim and finds that his subjective fear of persecution due to his religion is established, on a balance of probabilities.
 The objective documentary evidence in the national documentation package is limited and mixed as it relates to problems faced by Christians in Uganda in connection with Islamic religious extremism. One article describes the Tabliq as a fundamentalist faction of Ugandan Muslims, but notes that “[d]ifferent religions do not only coexist but even cooperate” in Uganda.7 Another article, however, notes that Uganda ranks “just outside the top 50 countries in which Christians are persecuted”8 and reports that “Christian groups living in areas affected by the presence of Islamic extremists face persecution.”9 The article documents several instances of Muslim who convert to Christianity being attacked.10 While the claimant himself is not a convert from Islam to Christianity, he was trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.
 The claimant provided numerous news articles documenting attacks by Islamic religious extremists against Christians, including for expressing views that are offensive to some Muslims and for Christian proselytization.11 These articles document attacks from various regions in Uganda. The claimant also provided an article from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, which describes the Tabliq as being religiously fundamentalist and having connections to terrorism.12
 The panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that while ordinary Christians do not face persecution in Uganda, there is an objective basis to the claimant’s fear of returning to Uganda. This is because (i) the country conditions documents indicate that there are Islamic religious extremists in Uganda who attack Christians who express views offensive to Islam and for Christian proselytization, (ii) the claimant was involved in proselytizing to Islamic religious extremists and the nature of his proselytization involved expressing views that could be construed as offensive or blasphemous to Islamic religious extremists, and (iii) the claimant’s identity and story have been publicized in a widely circulated newspaper. Accordingly, the claimant has a well-founded fear of persecution in Uganda.
 In general, there is a presumption that state protection is available to the claimant and this presumption must be rebutted with clear and convincing evidence. Here, the claimant testified to going to the police after his security guard informed him of two people behaving suspiciously near his home. The claimant testified that the police requested a bribe and suggested that the claimant brought this upon himself by disturbing Muslims.
 The claimant submitted country conditions news articles indicating that the police in Uganda are generally viewed as being very corrupt, including due to bribery.13 In the national documentation package, the Uganda 2020 Crime & Safety Report by the Overseas Security Advisory Council notes that “[d]espite efforts to professionalize and modernize the force, the UPF still struggles with a lack of resources, corruption, and regular reports of human rights violations.”14 Freedom House provides Uganda with a score of 1 out of 4 in each of the subcategories under Rule of Law, including whether due process prevails.15 The United States Department of State notes numerous issues with policing in Uganda, including bribery.16
 The panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the claimant has rebutted the presumption of state protection in Uganda. This is because the claimant testified in a detailed and candid manner about trying to obtain state protection and being asked for a bribe, and the country conditions cited above indicate that such corruption is a serious issue in Uganda.
INTERNAL FLIGHT ALTERNATIVE
 The panel considered whether a viable internal flight alternative exists for the claimant, particularly in Mbarara, a large city located approximately 270 kilometers away from Kampala, where the claimant engaged in proselytization and faced retaliation.
 The claimant testified that proselytization of the kind of he engaged in is an important part of his religious practice that he would continue to engage in if he were returned to Uganda. Given the claimant’s previous proselytization efforts and his very detailed and expressive testimony about his previous proselytization efforts, the panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the claimant would continue to proselytize in the manner he did in the past if returned to Uganda. The claimant further testified that he is active on social media, which was supported by a copy of his Facebook activity log.17 According to the claimant, this could make it easier for those pursuing him to track him down. The claimant also testified, in a manner consistent with his BOC, that his mother has received threats directed toward the claimant.
 The panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the claimant would face a serious possibility of persecution throughout Uganda. This is because (i) the country conditions documents indicate that attacks by Islamic religious extremists on Christians, including for Christian proselytization, occur in various regions across the country; (ii) the claimant testified that proselytization of the kind he engaged in is important to his religious practice, which suggests that the claimant could draw adverse attention to himself from Islamic religious extremists, including those who are already pursuing him; (iii) the claimant is active on social media, which could make it easier for him to be tracked down; (iv) the claimant’s identity and story, including the allegation that he insulted Prophet Muhammad, have been publicized in a newspaper; and (v) the Tabliq group appears to remain interested in the claimant. These factors indicate that the religious extremists would have the means and motivation to pursue the claimant.
 Having considered all of the evidence, the panel finds that there is a serious possibility of persecution for the claimant in Uganda if the claimant returns to Uganda. The panel finds the claimant to be a Convention refugee and accepts his claim.
(signed) Suraj Balakrishnan
May 12, 2021
1 Exhibits 2 and 9.
2 Exhibit 1.
3 Exhibit 7.
6 Exhibit 13.
7 Exhibit 3, NDP 30 September 2020, Item 1.4, BTI 2020 Country Report – Uganda. Bertelsmann Stiftung. 2020. 22 September 2020.
8 Exhibit 3, NDP 30 September 2020, Item 12.2, UGA106318.E. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. 17 July 2019.
11 Exhibit 7.
12 Exhibit 13.
13 Exhibit 7.
14 Exhibit 3, NDP 30 September 2020, Item 7.2, Uganda. 2020 Crime and Safety Report. United States. Overseas
Security Advisory Council. 22 April 2020.
15 Exhibit 3, NDP 30 September 2020, Item 2.4, Uganda. Freedom in the World 2020. Freedom House. 2020.
16 Exhibit 3, NDP 30 September 2020, Item 2.1, Uganda. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2019. United States. Department of State. 11 March 2020.
17 Exhibit 11.