Christians on Kenya-Somali Border Suffer Quietly
Christians in the predominantly Muslim Northern regions of Kenya have found themselves in a precarious situation and appeal to you to come along side them in prayer. The majority are not native to the area, but have been assigned to the area on official duty. This semi-arid region borders the lawless Somali border and has long been prone to unprovoked Al Shabaab militia attacks. The Christians not only have to endure the harsh climatic conditions, but they must also contend daily with the very real threat of attack.
One church leader reported how his congregation has diminished by almost 50% in the past few months, in part because of the departure of congregants from the area due to security concerns. These concerns intensified after the Kenya Government activated the “Operation Linda Nchi” against the Al Shabaab militia inside Somali beginning in October of last year. The militia reacted by increasing attacks along the borders. Though they focus on military camps, they also abduct mainly non-Muslim Kenyan civilians whom they are holding hostage within Somali.
“Talking to many fellow Christians, I have noted that the security worries are affecting many. We need prayers!” the leader said and went on to add, “The area is already very hostile, but now we are also suffering hidden persecution at our work places! Many of our jobs are in danger because of fabricated negative reports from our superiors; our colleagues at work discriminate against and isolate us – just because of our faith.”
He gave accounts of how as many as five teachers from various schools in the area have been sent on forced leave and have been transferred away from the area while other professionals have lost their jobs, all on fabricated charges of incompetence by their Muslim supervisors. He explained that the Muslims constantly monitor persons newly posted to the area, marking those that they perceive as committed Christians for covert persecution. It is very difficult for the aggrieved to seek redress because of the concealed nature of the persecution. Those that report the unfair treatment encounter a marked lack of corroboration from their colleagues, leading to the dismissal of their complaints.
“It is very discouraging, please pray with us,” he appealed. “Also pray specifically for one Christian teacher who is currently in hiding after receiving death threats. They want to kill him because he noted cases and reported students cheating in national examinations. The area residents accuse him of trying to cause the cancellation of those students’ examination results by the Ministry of Education.”
Father, we lift up the believers in northern Kenya who are subject to attack and who are vulnerable to false accusations in the workplace. As they work we pray that Your presence would be apparent to them that they might work as unto You, confidently placing their future in Your hands. As they work, keep them safe and fill them with Your peace. Thank You for the work of Open Doors there as they distribute Bibles and study materials, provide seminars in children’s ministry, convert ministry and cross-cultural evangelism. Thank you, too, for the OD work in equipping the church for socio-economic ministry. As OD ministers there, cause their work to bear much fruit. In the name of Jesus to whom we give all the glory, Amen.