Disputes between Christians and Muslims in Kenya have lead to violence many times. Another recent round of violence happened where Christians were attacked and their property, which included shops and churches, were vandalized or burned following a dispute with Muslims according to a report:
Nearly two weeks ago, a disagreement between Muslims and the local community in Kiamaiko, Nairobi, culminated in a mass attack by young Muslim men. The mob injured several Christians and destroyed the property of four churches: Kingdom Gospel for All Nations Ministry, Evangelical Victory Church International, End Time Army Church, and Kale Heywot Church.
The dispute arose on Thursday night, May 16, when a Muslim group in the city was holding an outdoor debate. Some locals from the community complained about the noise and large crowd that had formed, and called the police. The police came and confiscated the group’s sound system and dispersed the function due to the public disturbance. The local Somali Muslim population then assembled into a mob. The next day, the mob destroyed much of the four churches, and attacked local Christian-owned shops.
Pastor John of Kingdom Gospel for All Nations spoke to International Christian Concern (ICC) about the horrific attack. “The hatred reached a climax last week when a group of Muslim adherents stormed our church building armed with stones, machetes, and petrol. They were reacting to police orders of regulating their public religious debates that had become chaotic and a threat to the local Christians. They broke into the church and damaged everything; from chairs to sound equipment. They also attempted to set the church on fire, but police arrived and contained the situation.”
Witnesses confirmed that the youthful Muslims were also breaking and plundering shops belonging to Christians. “After they destroyed the chairs and equipment of this church, they split into small groups and went around stealing from the nearby shops operated by Christians. This was outright persecution of the people that subscribe to the Christian faith.”
“This was outright persecution of the people that subscribe to the Christian faith.”
The pastor of Evangelical Victory Church lamented that they might not be allowed to gather and worship at their church for a while because of the threats they have been receiving. “Last Sunday, we did not worship at our church because of security concerns. Our freedom of worship has been violated and we can only pray for a time when the Muslim community will allow Christians to worship without fear of being attacked. Our members are now scattered and we are uncertain about meeting this coming Sunday because we have received notes at our church warning us against going to church, praying and preaching.”
“Few suspects have been arraigned in court and further investigations into the matter are being conducted,” noted Pastor Matthew of End Time Army Church. “Some of the arrested people are Christians who were picked from our church and they are assisting in identifying the assailants.”
Pastor Samson of the Evangelical Christian Church of Africa urges Christians to continue praying for the churches in Kiamaiko. “The influx of the Somali people who are majorly Muslims has posed a great danger to the churches in Kiamaiko. They have erected four mosques and are looking for portions to build other mosques. They have been threatening churches to leave so that they can build mosques on those plots. We need prayers from all Christians who hear about what we are going through.”
The attack on these churches comes a few weeks into the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Security groups are warning that the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab could be planning on carrying out terror attacks throughout Kenya. Churches have been urged to have armed guards and install surveillance equipment to help curb the threat. Please join us in praying for these churches during this tense season. (source)