Happy Independence Day to my Church Security Alliance members, friends and readers. This is a great day to celebrate the founding of our nation and the sacred liberties we possess in America.
While we are all aware of common security threats against churches in America, our brothers and sisters throughout the world are being actively pursued and killed for their faith in Christ, most recently in Kenya.
I just wanted to take a moment to ask you to pray for our brothers and sisters in Garissa, Kenya. This past Sunday, four gunmen killed two policemen guarding a church, snatched their rifles and then opened fire on the congregation from inside and out, killing 15 people and wounding 40.
In an attempt to flee, church members fled into a hallway, where they were met by another gunman, who may have deployed a grenade.
“We were deep in prayers preparing to give our offerings,” said a visibly shaken David Mwange, a churchgoer. “We first had a loud bang from outside which we mistook to be coming from the rooftops. We then had gunshots which made us to lie down. Within no time we had gunshots all over. Everybody was shouting and wailing in pain.”
The bloodiest of the two attacks came against the African Inland Church in Garissa, a city some 195 kilometres west of the Somali border. A simualtaneous grenade attack against a second Catholic church in Garissa wounded three people.
The police were guarding the church because of the increasingly dangerous security situation near the border with Somalia and because Somalia’s Islamist militants have made Christian churches a common target.
Kenya sent troops into Somalia last October to hunt al-Shabab fighters. The militants, who are allied with al-Qaeda, have threatened repeatedly to carry out revenge attacks for Kenya’s push into Somalia. Sunday’s attacks appear to be part of that trend (info/picture from Associated Press).
As of now, local Muslim clerics and Christian leaders have called for vigilante groups to guard local churches in an effort to prevent further attacks.