With persecution against Christians in Muslim parts of Kenya increasing, believers are concerned that the coming elections will fall to supporters of Al-Shabaab. This Muslim minority group has had great influence on the current government and has triggered “political instability in Kenya.” Elections will be on March 4.
By Alex Murashko
2/06/2013 Kenya (CP) -Political instability in Kenya, triggered by influences from the Muslim minority group al-Shabaab, is causing great concern over the future religious atmosphere in the Eastern Africa country, says Open Doors, a Christian persecution watchdog group. The organization is asking for prayer with less than one month to go before the country’s general election.
“We are at a defining moment because these are the first elections under the new constitution with its many new structures and elective and nominative posts,” explains the Open Doors coordinator for the region, who – as the case with most of the ministry’s international field workers – remains anonymous for security reasons.
Al-Shabaab’s success in pressuring the government to allow greater official influence for Islam is troubling, say Open Doors officials. Islamic family courts based on Sharia Law have been implemented in all counties – even in those with a low Muslim presence. It is feared that at least 10 of the counties with higher Muslim representation may push for the implementation of Sharia Law and may even be harboring ambitions to break away from the rest of the country, which is Christian dominated (83 percent).
“It was reported by Open Doors that 22 Christians were killed in incidents last year and over 100 seriously injured or maimed,” said Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “The persecution of believers in the Muslim parts of the country has increased. Please join Open Doors in praying for Kenya as it prepares for elections next month.”
More than 1,200 people died in post-election violence in 2007. After the setup of a tribunal was blocked by politicians in Kenya, the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to prosecute six politicians. Charges against two were dropped, while two of the remaining four are running in the elections – one for president and the other as his running mate. Some reports of violence have already surfaced this year. The election is scheduled for March 4.