Kenyan Christians pray targetted attacks by militant Islamists end

By Reuters Staff
July 9, 2012

(A Kenyan policeman walks inside the African Inland Church after an attack in Kenya's northern town of Garissa July 1, 2012. REUTERS/Abdi Rahman)

Kenyan Christians fear they are being targetted by militant Islamists, perhaps to avenge the country’s military incursion inside Somalia, but vowed on Sunday to respond through prayers, not violence.

In the port city of Mombasa security guards body-searched worshippers, while in the eastern town of Garissa, where attacks on two churches last week killed 17 people, military police patrolled the streets and Muslims came out in a show of solidarity.

Both Christian and Muslim leaders have urged calm this week, keen to prevent the grenade and gun attacks in Garissa last Sunday driving a wedge between the two largest religious communities and triggering violence.

“Why would they attack a church on a Sunday? Remember the recent one in a Nairobi church and several others…all on Christians. Are you telling me that is a coincidence? No way,” said Margaret Wakio, 28, clutching a bible and hymn book as she entered church in Mombasa.

“This is intentionally targetting us. We will fight back, but through prayers not weapons,” she said.

Mombasa, Garissa and towns along the border with Somalia, all predominantly Muslim areas, have been subjected to a wave of violence since Kenya sent troops into its war-ruined neighbour to help crush al Qaeda-linked rebels.

Muslims and Christians alike have been killed.

Read the full story by Joseph Akwiri here.
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Praying the faithful under siege, for calm, comfort, safety, and God’s justice to prevail. God is with the persecuted, and will bring them through. Grant us all love, wisdom, patience, and perseverance. Pray for an end to violence in the name of faith, in the name of politics, in the name of greed, for all people.

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