In a four-hour pre-dawn raid on 31 January, Islamic extremist al Shabaab rebels killed at least four Christians in a coastal Kenyan village. Two were shot, one was beheaded and at least one was killed when his house was set on fire. Still others were wounded in the attack. Eyewitnesses said it was clear the attackers were hunting down Christians.
The rebels, who are fighting government and regional forces in Somalia, regard the northern coastal area of Kenya as Islamic territory.
Al Shabaab has attacked the area before. Local Christians are fearful and hundreds are reported to be fleeing their homes. Yet, one area church leader said Christians should not be cowed. “God has called us to be the salt and the light and to lead many to the marvellous light of Christ,” he said.
Also in Kenya, Meshack Owino was one of two Christians killed in a 21 December 2015 attack by al Shabaab near Mandera. The militants stopped a bus travelling to Mandera and tried to separate Christians from Muslims. However, several Muslim passengers refused to cooperate in an effort to protect the Christians. Meshack was killed while trying to escape, and another Christian was killed when he approached the stopped bus in a second vehicle. The militants first thought the second vehicle carried Kenyan Defence Forces, which gave the bus time to drive away. The militants killed the driver of the second vehicle after learning he was a Christian.
Sources: Morning Star News, Release International, The Voice of the Martyrs USA