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08/25/2023 Kenya (International Christian Concern) — A church in Salama Village, Lamu, Kenya, was set on fire and destroyed and nine houses also burned in a terrorist attack this week.

The evening attack was allegedly carried out by the Somali-based al-Shabaab terrorist group that also targeted a nearby security camp.

The distraught pastor of the destroyed church said, “The church was burnt down to ashes by the terrorist on Tuesday. Our church is home to over 70 believers and it has been in existence since 11th January 2009 when we planted it. It was part of the 10 properties that were set on fire when the group of al-Shabaab members attacked our area. It is true that such incidences like burning of houses have been happening, but we have never witnessed a church being burnt down for over ten years.

“Everything in the church building was burnt completely, from the roof to the walls. All the chairs, Bibles, hymn books, musical instruments, solar panels, office furniture, church documents and reports were destroyed in the fire. We have nothing left apart from the dark smoked walls and harrowing memories of the hate that has been showed to us by the jihadists.”

Terrorists have attacked the community six times since June, leaving 12 civilians dead, many houses destroyed, and 200 households displaced.

Religious leaders in Lamu strongly condemned the church burning saying it was an escalation of the conflict and fueled discord between people of different faiths.

Rev. Nobert, Lamu evangelical church leader, said, “We are disappointed that the enemy set his hand on God’s house of worship. They have touched the heart of God. This evil deed has watered down the gains of interreligious coexistence made over the overs between Muslims and Christians, as the fight against radicalization and terrorism goes on. We urge all believers in Lamu to remain steadfast in prayer and ask the government to security to all Christian villages and places of worship so that we do not continue to lose people and property.”

Fear continues to grip the residents of Salama and Juhudi after the terrorists on Wednesday night tried to sneak in and carry out another attack in the camp where more than 200 families were seeking temporary shelter. Witnesses say that police officers quickly responded and repelled the terrorists after a fierce gun battle.

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