FYI: Muslims comprise just 11% of the total population of Kenya, yet they are the biggest threat to the Christian majority. Suspected al-Shabaab militants tortured and killed at least six Christians, five of whom were reportedly beheaded, in a terror attack on a village in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region that borders Somalia, according to reports.
Christian Post (h/t Nita) “It is an ugly sight of people’s bodies lying dead and houses smoking with fire. This is undeniably an awful terrorist attack,” said Pastor Stephen Sila, who was at the site of the attack in Widhu village in Lamu West on Monday morning, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported.
“I counted seven houses that were torched down, four bodies of people burned beyond recognition inside the houses,” he was quoted as saying. “A body shot dead right outside a burned house and another beheaded body next to it. Other villagers escaped into the dark and the police are still looking for them.”
Five of the six killed had their hands tied from behind before they were beheaded, reportedKenya’s The Standard newspaper. “All the deceased persons had their hands tied from behind. Also several houses were torched within the locality and property of unknown value burned,” it said, citing a police report.
The pastor who spoke to ICC added: “The residents have gathered and are asking why the security officers were not doing enough to protect the Christians from being attacked by the Somali militants. There is a standoff now, but more police officers are arriving to pick the bodies and also evacuate those who need emergency medical attention.”
Commissioner Macharia also called it a terror attack and said security forces were hunting for the militants in a nearby forest, where they might have disappeared after the attack.
In the country’s northeast, the al-Shabaab terrorist group has been a constant threat.
In April 2015, al-Shabaab carried out one of its deadliest attacks when it stormed the campus of Garissa University. On that occasion, militants were said to have separated Muslims from non-Muslims and proceeded to execute all non-Muslim students. At least 148 people were killed in the attack.
Kenya was ranked 49th on Christian support organization Open Doors USA’s 2021 World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
While it’s a Christian-majority country, persecution has spread in Kenya, Open Doors says. “Particularly, Christians with a Muslim background in the northeast and coastal regions live under constant threat of attack — even from their closest relatives.
Our research revealed that Christians were attacked and forced to flee their villages, and Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab has infiltrated the local population to monitor the activities of Christians in those areas.”