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Church members are alarmed
over the gruesome attacks.
Photo: Flickr / Brad Bell (cc)

Church members of a northeastern town in Kenya are concerned for their safety after Islamic militants targeted Christians in a grenade and gun attack that killed six people at a residential compound in Mandera on October 6th. Targeting predominantly Christian migrant workers from Kenya's interior, rebels from Somalia's al-Shabaab terrorist group took responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the militants stated that it was designed to drive Christians from the area.

The attack wounded several others. Among the 27 people rescued were Christians who arrived at their church traumatized and in shock. "The loud grenade woke me up, and I heard one of the attackers saying the 'infidels' should leave the Muslim area of Mandera," one survivor explains. "There were loud cries for help as the attackers were shooting from all directions."

One of the pastors of a church in the area spoke of two church members whom he lost in the attack. "(They) were brutally murdered.... The government needs to improve security, especially in areas where non-locals who are mostly Christians reside. Otherwise we are opting to leave the area for the sake of our lives."

The BBC reports that Muslims in Kenya's northeast increasingly see al-Shabaab as a threat to their own interests and are seeking to improve relations with local Christians. Many of these Christians are skilled workers who have moved into the region, which happens to be one of Kenya's poorest, to work in its schools and hospitals. For more information on persecution in this African country, please visit this page.

Ask God to bind up the brokenhearted in Mandera, and to provide protection for His faithful servants in this volatile part of the world. Thank Him for the collaborative efforts of citizens in northeast Kenya as they seek to curb the threat of militants. Pray for wisdom on behalf of the Kenyan government, military and police as they tackle extremism and work to achieve peace and harmony within these communities. Most of all, may the Prince of Peace work mightily in the hearts of all Kenya's citizens -- including the members of al-Shabaab -- so that true peace may be achieved in this country.