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A village in Kenya
Al-Shabaab militants are embedded within the coastal communities of Lamu and Tana.
Photo credit: World Watch Monitor

On August 18th, three Christian men -- Changawa Muthemba, Joseph Kasena, and a 17-year-old neighbour named Kadenge Katana -- were beheaded after refusing to recite the Islamic prayer of faith. A fourth man, Charo (Joseph's mentally challenged older brother), was killed when the perpetrators of the crimes went to his home afterwards. One of the victim's wives was an unfortunate witness to the entire act of violence and is now "severely traumatized."

The tragic fatalities took place in Kasala Kairu, a northern coastal village of Lamu County, and were committed by members of the Al-Shabaab militant group. The gunmen reportedly only targeted the men but spared the community's women and children. Several houses were also torched.

On July 7th, similar overnight raids took place targeting the Jima and Pandanguo villages, located near Maleli, in which nine men were beheaded. According to survivors, the militants only targeted non-Muslim men. Some villagers also claimed they had informed police that militants were in the area, but no action had been taken. These raids occurred just days after three police officers were killed in another nearby village.

Since May, the terrorist group has ramped up its attacks in Kenya. More than 50 people have been killed in ambushes or by improvised explosive devices in Garissa, Mandera and Lamu, with many more sustaining injuries. Several other victims have been abducted. The Al-Shabaab militant group, known to be an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, has targeted Kenyan Christians for years, attacking churches, public places and buses. They have left behind a trail of pain and destruction among regions where Christians are the minority. A previous report on an attack that took place this May at a school in Garissa can be found here.

In the aftermath of the attacks on their communities, please commit to the Lord all the grieving families of those who were slain. Also uphold all the victims who've been injured, abducted and/or traumatized. May God's ministering presence, healing and comfort be experienced in each of their lives. Additionally, pray for the police, military and all those in authority who are trying to protect the civilians, liberate the captives, and ultimately stop the violence. Last, but not least, please intercede on behalf of the members of Al-Shabaab. May God's Spirit be at work in their lives as well, so they can experience true conviction, genuine repentance and eternal salvation.

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.

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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
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    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

    ...