(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Photo: Open Doors USA

Security has increased in recent days in Uganda and Kenya after authorities were warned by Western countries that an Islamic militant group is planning to attack churches.

The U.S. embassy in Uganda warned that churches there may face "specific threats" from al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based militant group. The threats against the two East African countries are said to be due to each having peacekeeping troops in Somalia.

"All the churches have been informed. The anti-terrorist police and police board in Uganda are providing security to the churches. There are further efforts to inform the people on what the explosives may look like so they can identify them," a pastor shared.

Al-Shabaab has vowed to eradicate all Christians in Somalia, and they have especially targeted converts from Islam. In April, a young Christian woman was dragged outside her home and killed by a group of armed men. (For more information on this malicious attack, please visit this story.)

As our brothers and sisters in Uganda and Kenya face these intimidating threats, pray that they will not lose heart. Instead, may they entrust themselves completely to our Lord, confident in the work of His Holy Spirit to guide and protect them. Ask God to grant wisdom to authorities and security personnel as they work to shield church buildings from attack in these countries. Please also keep in prayer the members of al-Shabaab, asking God to move in their hearts so that they will cease their violence and believe in Him.

To learn more about how al-Shabaab seeks to exterminate Christians, watch a short five-minute video on this page.