The Somali pastor of an underground church in Kenya near the Somali border suffered a broken thigh bone and other injuries after Muslim extremists beat him with wooden clubs on the evening of Friday 8 March.
Pastor Abdul, a 30-year-old father of three, had finished leading a prayer gathering at 9pm on the outskirts of Garissa and was on his way back to his house when several ethnic Somali Muslims attacked.
Pastor Abdul said he did not know the assailants. As they approached him, one of them told him, “We have been following your movements and your evil plans of changing Muslims to Christianity.”
Leader of an underground church of 30 former Muslims, Pastor Abdul clandestinely met with them in smaller groups on varying days for worship, prayer and Bible study.
“Immediately several assailants began hitting me with wooden clubs, and I became unconscious,” Pastor Abdul said. “I woke up and found myself surrounded by neighbours. I was rescued by the neighbours who found me in a pool of blood.” They rushed him to a hospital in Garissa, where doctors found his thigh was broken and bruises throughout his body.
“I’m almost unable to bear the pain. My family is in great fear, and Christians have located us to another place. Our prayer for now is to get a safe place for my family. My life and that of my family is at stake.” Pastor Abdul said.
The pastor, who became a Christian seven years ago, said the Muslim extremists discovered his activities even though he had taken precautionary measures to try to keep his movements secret.
The population of Garissa, about 160km from the Somali border, is predominantly ethnic Somali. In April 2015, 148 people at Garissa University College lost their lives in an attack by al-Shabaab, a Muslim extremist group in Somalia. Several attacks on churches and Christians have taken place in Garissa.
Somalis generally believe that all Somalis must be Muslim. Somalia’s constitution establishes Islam as the state religion and prohibits the propagation of any other religion.
Sources: Assist News Service, Morning Star News
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