An attack in the early hours of 6 October in north-east Kenya by al Shabaab militants resulted in the murder of six Christians.
The militant group’s own radio station, Radio Andalus, reports that the grenade and gun attack on a residential compound in Mandera, on the Somali border ─ an area known to have Kenyan migrant Christian workers ─ targeted “Christianity’s power in the region,” and that it was part of a series of attacks over the past few months.
According to a World Watch Monitor contact, “the al Shabaab militants, wearing Kenyan army uniforms, entered the housing compound on the pretext of being Kenyan security officers on patrol. Once allowed in, they first hit a mobile money transfer shop with an explosive device, before throwing more explosives into the compound. The people were caught unawares and were shot as they tried to flee. They specifically targeted non-locals (all assumed to be ‘Christians’).
“Among the six dead is a local barber called Cege. Among the injured is one person who hid in the ceiling, but the explosion from the grenades shook him and he fell through the roof and was injured. He is currently in hospital.”
Reports indicated that the attackers planted landmines all around the compound. One exploded when the security officers attempted to access the building.
“There are increased security personnel in town even as tension remains very high. Residents are declining interviews out of fear for their safety and many are locked in their houses,” locals report.
Source: World Watch Monitor
Ask the Lord to comfort the grieving; may they know His ministering Spirit bringing strength and provision during this time of loss. Pray for the injured; may they experience the Lord’s healing hand.
Pray for the Christian community to rally, support, love, care for and encourage one another. Pray for their protection and for others who may be targets.
Pray for the members of al Shabaab whose hearts are filled with hatred and anger. May the Lord show His mercy to them and change their lives forever.
Region: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and others.
This week, as we continue our series on Christians facing Islamic extremists, we turn our focus to al-Qaida. Click here to read other blogs in this series.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
An inspiration to radical Muslims
As Russian soldiers retreated from Afghanistan in 1988, it seemed to the wealthy Saudi man that the reality of his longed-for global jihad was finally at hand. That man – Osama bin Laden – called together some of his top associates to strategise ways to spread Mohammed’s message of holy warfare.
The terrorist group and its followers have been linked to several attacks. Most notably, in 2001 they were responsible for destroying the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City. Other attacks followed in Bali in 2002, Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005.
Al-Qaida, which calls for the killing or expulsion of all Christians from the Arabian Peninsula, was the first jihadist group to post videos of beheadings online. Elements of the group eventually broke away from al-Qaida and developed into what is known today as the Islamic State (IS).
Today al-Qaida continues to provide inspiration for radical Muslims everywhere, and its offspring are actively pursuing their jihadi agenda – and attacking our Christian brothers and sisters in at least 16 different nations.
Pray that al-Qaida leaders will come to know Christ in a personal way and that their worldwide influence will lead other Muslims to Jesus.
Pray that Christians living in areas of al-Qaida influence will remain strong in their faith; pray that they will have access to Bibles, Christian broadcasts and other tools to provide growth.
Pray that Australian Christians will not be bitter toward or afraid of Muslims after al-Qaida attacks around the world, but will display Christ’s love for Muslims whenever and wherever we encounter them.
Christians around the world are being attacked by Islamic extremists. One of these groups, known as al Shabaab, Arabic for ‘The Youth,’ is a jihadist terror group based in East Africa. In 2014 it was estimated that the militant group had 7,000 to 9,000 members. (Source: Wikipedia)
Al Shabaab describes itself as waging jihad, or “holy war,” against the “enemies of Islam.”
The terrorist group has made no secret of its goal to eliminate Christians.
In April 2015, four members of al Shabaab pounded on the dorm room doors at Garissa University College in Kenya, demanding of each student, “Are you Muslim or Christian?” Muslims were allowed to flee. Christians were shot. By the time the attack ended, 147 Christians lay dead and 79 more were wounded. The siege didn’t end until all four of the gunmen had been killed.
Stay tuned for next month’s blog to learn more about Islamic persecution: Christians Facing Islamic Extremists: Boko Haram
Pray for the creation and distribution of radio broadcasts and other evangelism tools in the Somali language.
Pray that isolated Christians will find ways to connect with other members of the body of Christ.
Pray that al Shabaab fighters will discover Christ and His love. May they become dissatisfied with the hatred, violence and bloodshed that currently surrounds their lives.