According to even secular human rights organisations, Christians are by far the most persecuted religious group globally, experiencing 80% of all acts of religious discrimination, being killed for their faith at a staggering rate of 11 every hour and all this being massively under-reported in the press (Spectator article 5/10/13). Yesterday was another reminder to those of us in Kenya that these things are not distant realities.
Some attacks in Kenya in the last 12 months:
- June 9 2013, grenade thrown into crusade meeting at Earthquake Miracle Ministries, Likoni injures 16.
- August 19 2013, two bombs planted at the entrance to the Soldiers of Faith Church at Kiamaiko, Nairobi were discovered and safely defused.
- Friday October 5 2013, Salvation Army church building in Mombasa burnt in riots following extra-judicial killings of Muslim preachers.
- Saturday October 19 2013, Pastor Charles Mathole, Vikwantani Redeemed Gospel Church, shot dead in church building and left still holding his Bible.
- Sunday October 20 2013, Pastor Ibrahim Kithaka, EAPC Kilifi, strangled and left in bushes.
- Sunday March 23 2014, Joy of Jesus Church, Likoni, four killed, 21 injured.
This is not including the Wesgate attack and frequent small scale attacks in Garissa and elsewhere in the North East which, as a friend who has spent some years in the area said recently, are so common that they go largely unreported by the national press.
Of course this is not to say that Muslims and others have not also experienced attacks and atrocities, or to say that Christians have a blameless record but overall the evidence does all tend in one direction (again see the Spectator article or the Wikipedia page on Persecution of Christians or Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians by Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert & Nina Shea) – Jesus’ warnings continue to prove accurate (Matt. 24:9-10; John 15:18-16;4).
For more reports and prayer resources see:
And for some gospel reflections:
- ‘The Blood of the Martyrs’ (Harrison Mungai, Monday Updates, 2/7/12)
- ‘The church under attack and the surprising face of spiritual warfare’ (Andy Harker, Watumishiwaneno, 10/2/12)