In al-Shabaabs deadliest attack to date, militants slaughtered 148 people in a day- long raid on Kenya’s Garissa University in April 2015. Laughing and taunting their young victims, the gunmen separated Christians from Muslims before killing beheaded those who could not or would not recite passages from the Quran.
Al-Shabaab is a Somali-based terrorist organisation with links to al-Qaeda, but after Kenyan authorities took the decision in 2011 to send troops into neighbouring Somalia to help counter terrorist activity, Kenya has been plagued with acts of brutality, often against the country’s Christian population. In Mandera county, which borders Somalia, militants singled out the non-Muslims and brutally murdered them in two violent attacks in late 2014.
It is estimated that around 500 people, mainly Christians and Kenyans from of the south of the country, have been killed in Islamist attacks in the two years up to Summer 2015 in a bid to clear a pathway for the establishment of sharia law.
A senior Kenyan Christian leader explained that al-Shabaab’s aim for Kenya (a nation which is 80% Christian) is to make it ungovernable, to make the Church fearful, and to prevent Christians from doing outreach in Muslim-majority areas of the country.
Christians and Muslims peacefully coexist in many parts of Kenya, although Christian converts from Islam can face pressure and even violent threats to renounce their new faith in Christ. In Muslim- majority areas, Christians are discriminated against and local Muslims are seeking to settle matters through Islamic (Kadh) courts.
Pray that the Lord will shield His people in Kenya from the violent attacks of radical Muslims. Ask God to comfort those who have been bereaved or injured. Almost 100 schools have closed in northern Kenya with teachers, many of them Christians, too afraid to work because of attacks against education institutions. Pray that al-Shabaab will be defeated and that stability will be restored to the region so that children can learn in safety. Pray also for protection for converts from Islam and for the help of the Holy Spirit as they begin their new life in Jesus.