Kenyan Church Leaders Seek Protection from Islamist Attacks

Kenyan Church Leaders Seek Protection from Islamist Attacks

Washington, D.C. April 5 (ICC) – Suspected Islamists killed two Christians and wounded over thirty more when a grenade was thrown into a Christian outdoor worship service in Mtwapa, located near Kenya’s coastal town of Mombasa, on March 31. Kenyan church leaders are pleading their government for protection following an increase of attacks on Christians in recent months.

We are not happy [with the protection given by the government]… All the political leaders in the area are Muslims. Not a single Muslim leader came to show empathy. We are not considered as being part of the community. We [the Christians] are marginalized,” Patrick Muchiri, a pastor at the Mombasa Pentecostal Church, told ICC.

The deadly blast followed a similar attack on the East Africa Pentecostal Church in Garissa, Kenya, when Islamists – believed to be connected to al Shabaab – threw a grenade into the church compound on November 5. Two Christians, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed and three more were injured.

In his personal message to the Kenyan government, Pastor Muchiri said, “It is important for [the Kenyan government] to uphold the freedom of worship. When people are attacked because of their religion, the government should take that seriously. Such attacks undermine the fundamental principles of freedom of worship and create fear among Christians about meeting [for worship].”

 

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