Kenya: Christians vulnerable as al-Shabaab terror attacks continue; “the Body of Christ is hurting”

Monday, January 31, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Christians in Kenya’s Lamu country report increasing vulnerability as Somali-based al-Shabaab Islamic gunmen seriously wounded several people last week, during what was the seventh terror attack in the area since the New Year, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. A predominantly Christian country, Kenya has been plagued by terror attacks since the government has sent military aid to help neighboring Somalia against the ongoing al-Shabaab insurgency there.

On January 26, six suspected al-Shabaab terrorists ambushed a convoy of vehicles in Lamu county near Kenya’s border with Somalia, and opened fire, ICC said. Six people suffered gunshot wounds in the attack and were hospitalized. Three other people managed to escape.

Describing the attack, a survivor said in a statement: “It was 5:00 p.m. We were almost getting to the second [to] last security check when I saw a group of six men appearing from the roadside bushes. They started firing [at] our truck, but we managed to stop before getting too close to them, and we escaped through the passenger’s door and entered the forest on the left side of the road.”

Remarking on the number of al Shabaab attacks taking place in Lamu, a local church leader told ICC of his concern for the safety of resident Christians.“This January has been characterized by a series of terrorist attacks, right after we celebrated the New Year, where over 15 people have been killed and several houses torched,” the leader said. “Christians have been living in camps since the third of January because the villages are not safe. They go to the farms during the day and return to the camps in the evening where they eat together and sleep while security officers guard them. This is unacceptable. The body of Christ is hurting here in Lamu.”

Nevertheless, the leader continued, the violent unrest has strengthened the local church: “The enemy of the cross might look like he is winning, but the truth is this period of persecution is producing bolder and courageous believers, sharpened on all ends, and sent to carry out a great and effective outreach among the Muslim communities and planting more sound churches in Lamu for the glory of God,” he said.