Some horrific news is emerging out of Kenya after two Christian bus passengers were murdered in cold blood by militants belonging to Islamic terror group Al-Shabaab.
According to International Christian Concern, last weekend a group of militants stopped a bus that was headed for the North Eastern province city of Garissa. The terrorists then ordered the passengers of the bus before demanding to see their identification, in order to try and determine which of them were Christians and which were Muslims.
When the murderous group suspected that three of the passengers were followers of Jesus, they separated from the group and demanded that they recite the Islamic Statement of Faith. But when two refused, they were tied up and immediately executed.
NTV Kenya reported that the two deceased were the “bus mechanic” and a “casual laborer” on his way to Masalani in the country’s Garissa County.
ICC said it was “following up with the families of these two martyrs” and noted that the Kenyan and Somali Governments “must continue to work to end the horrible atrocities that this evil organization commits and protect the lives of Christians in Kenya.”
Al-Shabaab has become increasingly threatening to the security of Kenyan Christians, and have ramped up the ferocity of its attacks in recent years. In 2015, gunmen associated with the terror took over 700 students hostage in Garissa, allowing Muslims to go free while shooting dead all those who identified as Christian. In total, some 148 people were murdered – it was the most deadly atrocity to plague Kenya since the 1998 United States Embassy bombing.
The Islamic terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, noting that the motive was in relation to Keyna being “at war with Somalia” by deploying troops via the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
But there have been some extraordinary moments of mutual friendship between the two main religions of this land. When Islamist militants attacked a bus in 2015, Muslim passengers refused to be separated into groups, as they knew this meant the terrorists would identify and execute the Christians. According to the BBC, the Muslims told the militants “to kill them together or leave them alone.”
“The locals showed a sense of patriotism and belonging to each other,” Mandera governor Ali Roba told Kenya’s private Daily Nation newspaper at the time. He noted that the militants decided to leave after the passengers’ stunning show of unity.
Do pray for all the Christians in Kenya who continue to face such fierce persecution.