While the Trump administration recently denounced the Islamic State for carrying out genocide against Christians in Syria and Iraq, the religious group is facing extreme persecution in some parts of the Horn of Africa as well.
Three Christians were hacked to death by Al-Shabaab jihadists last week when they refused to recite the Islamic prayer of faith, according to World Watch Monitor.
One other Christian, a mentally challenged sibling of one of the three, was also murdered.
At around 9pm, Changawa Muthemba, who was in his forties, was dragged out of his home in Kasala Kairu, Lamu County, by a group of armed men and taken to the nearby home of his brother-in-law, Joseph Kasena, 42, where a 17-year-old neighbour, Kadenge Katana, also happened to be at the time.
The three men were held at machete point and ordered to recite the Shahada. When none of them did, the attackers began to tie them up. When the men resisted, they were hacked to death. Then the attackers went to the home of Joseph’s older brother, Charo, who was in his late forties, and killed him. […]
According to the source, Al-Shabaab militants and their sympathisers are “deeply embedded” in the local communities of wider Lamu and Tana, which are in coastal Kenya, near the border with Somalia where Al-Shabaab originated.
“They move around freely and often are at odds with the Kenyan farmers, deliberately sending their animals to feed on their crops,” the source said. “Locals complain that the police are not doing anything about the situation and even show preferential treatment to the herders. Earlier that day, some locals met with the Somali herdsmen, who threatened them. But this was not the reason for the attack; it only provided the opportunity for it. Al-Shabaab knew these men as Christians, and Joseph as a church elder.”
The attack comes one month after the jihadists “mercilessly” beheaded nine in Kenya, some of whom were members of a local church.
One witness also told the Washington Post the jihadists seemed to be singling out non-Muslim men.
These attacks against Christians in the area are nothing new. The Al Qaeda affiliate has been targeting them for years, including in churches, public places, and buses.