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Kenya: Muslim Extremists Kill Six Christians

Kenya is 80% Christian, including over 600,000 Orthodox Christians. 

The website Orthodox Christian Initiative for Africa offers regular news on the Orthodox Church in Kenya and all over the continent.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Kenya, see here.

“Muslim Extremists Kill Six Christians in Coastal Kenya,” Morning Star News, January 7, 2022:

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Muslim extremists in Kenya, including suspected militants from Somalia, killed six Christians in southeastern Kenya between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Monday (Jan. 3), sources said.

Members and sympathizers of Somali militant group Al Shabaab were suspected of joining local Muslim extremists in attacks in Widho, Majembeni Mpeketoni, in coastal Kenya’s in Lamu County, area residents said.

The assailants, some dressed in Al Shabaab fatigues and others in Islamic attire, began by abducting a well-known Christian coconut tree seller, Francis Kaburi, forcing him down from one of his trees at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning (Jan. 2), said Joyce Wanjiru, the wife of one of the other slain Christians.

Her husband, Joseph Mwangi Maina, received a call from Kaburi at 1 a.m. on Monday (Jan. 3), saying that Muslims had abducted him, that his life was in danger and that they were holding three other Christians inside a shop belonging to John Murimi in Widho, she said. Murimi, Peter Maingi and Peter Musyoka had been meeting for prayer at the shop when the militants captured them.

“Then the call ended,” Wanjiru told Morning Star News. “The shop was then torched, and the three died inside there.”

At 2 a.m. the assailants arrived at Mwangi Maina’s house, his wife Wanjiru said.

“Kaburi called to my husband to get out of the house,” she said. “He then opened the door and went out.”

Speaking in the Somali language as well as in the Kiswahili common in Kenya, the assailants questioned her husband, Mwangi Maina, accusing him of refusing to return to Islam, she said. A non-Somali who had been raised a Christian in Kenya, Mwangi Maina converted to Islam seven years ago but returned to Christian faith two years later, she said.

“They were accusing him of refusing to become a Muslim and hence being an enemy propagating bad religion,” Wanjiru said. “Soon he was pleading with them not to kill him, and thereafter there was groaning and screaming from my husband. The children started crying very loudly, and the attackers forced us to come out of the house.”

Her children, ages 15, 12, 10 and 4, fled as the Muslim extremists set their house on fire, she said. Neighbors from Wanjiru’s tribe, Kikuyu, and her dialect arrived as the assailants left with Kaburi.

“My husband had just been beheaded and the head placed on his back,” Wanjiru told Morning Star News.

From there the assailants went to the house of Murimi, the Kenyan Christian not of Somali descent who had died in the fire set at his shop. Finding Murimi’s wife, Grace Wanjiru, and four children, ages 12, 10, 8 and 2, the assailants forced them out and set their house ablaze, sources said.

The attackers proceeded to the house of another non-Somali Christian, Maina Jigi. Area residents said that at about 2:30 a.m., the Muslim extremists set his house on fire, burning Jigi to death….

Somalis generally believe all Somalis are Muslims by birth and that any Somali who becomes a Christian can be charged with apostasy, punishable by death. Somalia’s constitution establishes Islam as the state religion and prohibits the propagation of any other religion, according to the U.S. State Department. It also requires that laws comply with sharia (Islamic law) principles, with no exceptions in application for non-Muslims.

Kenya ranked 49th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian; Somalia ranked 3rd.

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