Gunmen Shoot Two Pastors in Kenya as Violence Increases

February 13, 2013 by Open Doors in General


Open Doors has received information that two church leaders were attacked last Thursday, Feb 7, by unknown gunmen in the city of Garissa, Kenya. Pastor Ibrahim Makunyi of the East Africa Pentecostal Church and a younger man he evangelized, discipled, and mentored, Pastor Abdi Welli, were rushed to the hospital following the attack.

Pastor Welli was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. He is survived by his wife Hellen and three young sons. Pastor Makunyi’s condition is reportedly stable, and he is out of danger. Open Doors is monitoring the situation and will provide further updates as soon as more details become available.

Garissa is a violence-ridden city in northeastern Kenya. Al-Shabaab, an Islamist terrorist group, has been targeting Christians and Christian churches in the area. Last July, terrorists killed 16 during bombings at two churches in Garissa.

This year, Kenya made its first appearance as an entire country on Open Doors’ World Watch List (WWL). Only the northeastern regions were previously included on the WWL. However, incidents of violence against Christians and churches, as well as heightened tensions in various areas during 2012, resulted in the entire country catapulting into the No. 40 position on the list. Kenya is now labeled as a country in which Christians experience moderate persecution.  

“The attack today is the latest in increasing violence, especially in the Garissa area. It was reported that 22 Christians were killed in incidents last year and over 100 seriously injured or maimed,” says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “Please join Open Doors in praying for Kenya as it prepares for elections. Pray that there might not be more violence heading into the March 4 elections.”

Father, we pray that Your arms of comfort would embrace the family of Pastor Welli, his widow Hellen and their three sons, as they mourn the loss of husband and father. Thank You for the comfort of knowing he is rejoicing in Your presence even now. We pray for the quick healing of Pastor Makunyi and for comfort in his loss of this spiritual son. Comfort, protect and reassure his family as they continue to live and work in Garissa. As the congregants of the East Africa Pentecostal Church await the recovery of their pastor, we pray that You would raise up strong leaders that their ministry would continue to move forward in power and authority. As we think of the believers in Garissa who live in constant danger, we pray that You would protect them and embolden them to trust You as they serve You there. In the name of Jesus our protector, and in whose authority Your church proclaims the gospel to a lost world. Amen

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