Kenyan Christians pray targetted attacks by militant Islamists end
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.