Kenya Facts

Score: 62 / 100
Region: Africa
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 48,467,000
Christians: 39,409,000
Main Religion: Christianity
Government: Presidential Republic
Leader: President Uhuru Kenyatta

Profile of Persecution

Violence 56%
Church Life 70%
National Life 47%
Community Life 60%
Family Life 65%
Private Life 72%

Where Persecution Comes From

Most of the persecution of Kenya’s Christians comes from the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab. The group, based in neighboring Somalia, has conducted numerous attacks targeting Christians in Kenya, a majority-Christian country. Within Kenya itself, some of the country’s tribal leaders are opposed to Christianity, viewing it as a threat. The Kenyan government enforces secularism that is at times restrictive for churches and Christian believers, pressuring them to abandon their beliefs. Rampant corruption in the country results in persecution that goes unpunished or isn’t punished appropriately.

How Christians are Suffering

In Kenya, Christian persecution affects all Christian communities. Christian converts from Muslim backgrounds living in the northeast and coastal regions especially live under constant threat of attack. Country-wide corruption and crime also pose a great threat to believers. Some reports suggest that the attack on Garissa University in 2015 by al-Shabaab was executed through bribes to security officials for the import of illegal weapons and ammunition. Because officials often turn a blind eye to persecution, they encourage further acts of violence.


In December 2015, two passengers on a bus were killed when al-Shabaab militants boarded and separated Christians for execution.

In January 2016, five policemen who were Christians and three Christian men were murdered in their homes in the Lamu area.

During the World Watch List 2017 reporting period, more than 30 Christians were killed at the hands of Islamists.

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Pray for Kenya

  • Many Christians living in northeastern and coastal regions of Kenya have been severely traumatized by violent attacks and face a great deal of antagonism from the Muslim society. Pray for God’s healing in their lives and for the courage to continue sharing the gospel in this hostile environment.
  • Pray for repentance within the ranks of Islamic militant groups who target Christians. Pray that they would come to know Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life.
  • Pray for wisdom for Christians in the political arena. Pray for the Lord’s protection over them and that they would have a strong voice.

Stories from Kenya

June 24, 2018

10 of the Top Persecutors of Christians Around the World Today

Christian persecution is on the rise and these are some of the worst offenders around the world.


January 10, 2018

215 Million Believers Face Persecution for Their Faith in Christ

The release of the 2018 World Watch List confirms what we've seen and shared over the past year. Our brothers…


September 15, 2017

Brutal Attacks in Kenya Near Somalia Border

A group of around 30 heavily armed men in military gear, suspected to be al-Shabaab militants, killed three men in…