(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

African children in school
The shooting took place in front of
elementary school students.

Suspected al-Shabaab militants walked into an elementary school compound in northeastern Kenya on May 31st, shooting a Christian teacher to death in front of the pupils. Elly Oloo Ojiema was shot at Fafi Primary School, about 100 kilometres from Garissa. After the shooting, the suspected members of the notorious Somali rebel group kidnapped another Christian teacher, Joseph Kamau, along with a Muslim teacher who tried to defend him.

According to the testimony of a colleague, the abducted Muslim teacher announced while trying to shield the Kenyan Christian that he was willing to die with him. The witness further explains: "The al-Shabaab (rebels) got angry and told the teacher, 'We are going to teach you a lesson for protecting the infidels,' and immediately the two were carried away to an unknown destination."

Before escaping the school with the two captured teachers, the militants beat the Muslims of Somali descent merely for housing Kenyan Christians. "We are sounding a warning to you that we shall not take lightly you who are accommodating these infidels," one of the attackers threatened.

The incident has increased concerns among Christians in Garissa, who are already on edge after years of guerrilla assaults by Somali rebels fighting the government in Somalia. A pastors' fellowship in Garissa met on June 2nd and called on the Kenyan government to provide more security. Officials responded by promising to send security guards to protect community members during worship services.

May the loving comfort of our Lord be powerfully experienced in the lives of the students and teachers -- as well as their families -- who have been affected by the tragic shooting and abductions. Ask Him to protect the two captured teachers as they await their hopeful release, giving them the assurance of His abiding presence while in captivity. Pray that the Christians in Kenya will not succumb to fear, even in the wake of such chaos and hate, but rather hold steadfastly onto God (their "Rock," "Fortress" and "Deliverer"), who promises to be "an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1; 18:2).

Country Information

Kenya map & flagPopulation
54,685,051 (July, 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Kikuyu (17.1), Luhya (14.3), Kalenjin (13.4), Luo (10.7), Kamba (9.8), Somali (5.8), Kisii (5.7), Mijikenda (5.2), Meru (4.2), Maasai (2.5), Turkana (2.1), other (9.2)

Religions (%)
Christian (85.5) (Protestant 33.4%, Catholic 20.6%, Evangelical 20.4% other 11.1%), Muslim (10.9), Other (1.8), None (1.6)

Government type
Presidential republic

Leader
President Uhuru Kenyatta (2013)

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; judicial review in a new Supreme Court established pursuant to the new constitution

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Kenya

Pray that Somali refugees within Kenya will be open to the gospel. Ask the Lord to encourage believers to be unified in heart and purpose as they serve converts from Islam. Pray that churches in the northeastern region will remain strong as they face Islamist attacks.

end

Select a Region

Kenya News

  • Five Church Buildings Burned
    Worship in Kenya
    Pray that Christians in Kenya will continue
    to faithfully proclaim the Gospel.

    Five church buildings were destroyed by fire in the town of Otamba, Kisii County, between January 21st and 26th, causing great concern among the residents of the community. While ten people were arrested shortly afterward

    ...
  • Christians Ordered to Leave Area
    al-Shabaab - Photo: Voice of America www.voanews.com
    Photo: Voice of America

    On February 23rd, an audio recording was released by al-Shabaab demanding that all non-local Christians leave three provinces in northeastern Kenya. In the 25-minute clip, a spokesman for the Somalia-based Islamic terrorists urged any ethnic Somalis in the area to evict non-M

    ...
  • Christian Teachers Killed
    Al-Shabab militants
    Al-Shabab rebels pose an ongoing threat to many living close to the Somali border.
    Photo: Voice of America

    Three Christian teachers were killed when suspected Al-Shabab terrorists attacked the town of Kamuthe in eastern Kenya during the early morning of January 13th. The teachers of a residential sc

    ...
  • Pastor Beaten Unconscious
    A street in Garissa - Photo: Wikimedia/Adam H T Geelle
    Garissa, Kenya
    Photo: Wikimedia/Adam H T Geelle (cc)

    An underground pastor in eastern Kenya, near the Somali border, was severely beaten on the night of March 8th. Muslim militants assaulted him with wooden clubs, leaving him unconscious and with a broken leg, bruises and other injuries.

    Pastor Abd

    ...