Attacks on Christians have continued near the Somalia-Kenya border since Kenya began air strikes and deployed troops last month to deter al-Shabab militants, an extremist Muslim group associated with al-Qaida.
Last Saturday, Nov. 5, suspected extremists sympathetic to al-Shabab threw a grenade into a church elder’s home outside Garissa, Kenya, killing 8-year-old Winnie Mwenda Mutinda and 25-year-old John Kikavu. Three others in the house were seriously injured. The church’s pastor, Ibrahim Makunyi Kamwaro, told Compass Direct News that the three injured Christians are now in stable condition after undergoing treatment.
Kamwaro told Compass Direct News that the attack might have something to do with the church’s practice of communion. He is unsure who was behind the blast, but he had received threatening calls from al-Shabab the day before the attack. Despite the threats and attack, the church continued its worship service the next day.
In a separate incident, On Oct. 27, six young Muslim men beat 25-year-old Hassan, a Somali Christian refugee in Kenya. The attackers believed Hassan had converted to Christianity from Islam, according to Compass Direct News. They hit Hassan on the head, face, back and legs with a metal bar; cut his hands with knives; and stomped on his stomach after he fell to the ground. A passerby found Hassan bleeding and unconscious at the entrance to a church where the men had left him. Hassan was rushed to a hospital and received a blood transfusion. Despite the attack, Hassan’s faith remains strong.
“In spite of what happened, I don’t feel I’m losing my Christian faith,” Hassan told Compass Direct News. “I still need to fight for the Christian faith, in spite of what I’m feeling now.”
Sources: BBC News, Compass Direct News