Two Christian Men Executed for Declining to Recite Islamic Creed

By Nathan Johnson

10/31/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – A month ago, the Somalia-based terror group al-Shabaab flagged down a passenger bus traveling from Garissa to Masalani, Kenya, separating Muslims from Christians. Consequently, Fredrick Ngui Ngonde and Joshua Ooko Obila were killed for declining to recite the Islamic creed, the Shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam.

According to a witness, “The armed Somali fighters ordered all of us to [get off of] the bus and produce our identity cards. They singled out three passengers and ordered them to remain down the bus as we boarded. They asked them if they were Muslims and if they knew the Shahada and the seven verses of Suratul Fatiha. One of them recited part of the Shahada and was allowed to [return] to the bus.

The witness added, “The other two kafir men refused to obey the jihad fighters and remained adamant that Christ is their savior and they cannot deny the Christian faith. They were shot dead.”

Mr. Fredrick was a member of the East Africa Pentecostal Church of Masalani, where he led the church services and the choir. His pastor, Cosmas Mwinzi, described him as “a faithful follower of Christ who was committed to the church and his family. He had a passion for God’s work and loved the fellowship of brethren.”

“I don’t know what my future will be, but I am persuaded that one day we shall see him in heaven.”

While speaking with International Christian Concern (ICC), Fredrick’s wife, Penianh Mwatha, eulogized her husband as a “caring, prayerful, and a friendly person who I hoped to spend the rest of my life with. I am still in shock. Fredrick has left me with a 2-year-old son too soon. It is painful to lose him.

I don’t know what my future will be, but I am persuaded that one day we shall see him in heaven,” said Peninah, amidst tears.

Joshua was the mechanic of the attacked bus that is owned by a Somali businessman. Victor Oketch, Joshua’s brother, reported, “His Somali colleagues, the driver, and the conductor, did nothing to defend him. This shows you how religious animosity is at the core of persecution in northeastern Kenya.

This is not the first time that Christians have been profiled and executed by the al-Qaeda affiliated group, al-Shabaab. In 2014, 28 people were killed after being singled out from fellow Muslim passengers in Mandera. In 2015, al-Shabaab targeted Christian students at Garissa University, killing 148 people while sparing Muslims students. In 2016, 12 Christians were killed at a guesthouse in Mandera. Four people were also hacked to death in 2017 in Lamu after they were profiled and failed to recite the Shahada.

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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