It must first be emphasized that the persecution due to Islamic extremism contains elements of ethnic cleansing in the northeast and coastal areas of Kenya. Kenya has a very complex ethnic composition which also strongly affects daily politics. Secondly, Kenya is a country with a Christian majority (82%) and a considerably smaller Muslim population (10-15%). Yet this Muslim minority has become politically powerful in many sectors in the country. Also important is the level of corruption. In Kenya, the corruption of public institutions is rampant, and its effect on protecting citizens is massive. The Mombasa Republican Council (MRC, a group that advocates for the secession of northeast and coastal Kenya), has become more violent and is linked to terrorist groups like al-Shabaab. It is the cumulative effect of this complex situation that has led to the increase of Kenya’s score in WWL 2016.
On April 2, 2015 148 people were killed in the al Shabaab attack on the Garissa University in north-eastern Kenya. Frederick Gitonga, the former chairman of the Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS), miraculously survived the attack. Looking back, he tells Open Doors workers he remained standing thanks only to the grace of God and the prayers of supporters and for the purpose of preaching the gospel.
The terror attack on a Mandera residential compound has been claimed by Al-Shabaab. “We are behind the Mandera attack. During which, we killed six Christians,” local and international media reported the group’s military spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Musab, as saying.
Sadness mingled with messages of hope at the memorial ceremony in Eldoret, Kenya as those left behind remembered the 147 slain during the massacre on April 2, 2015.