By BosNewsLife Africa Service
NAIROBI, KENYA (BosNewsLife)– New details have emerged about Islamic militants killing several Christians in coastal Kenya where shaken residents are still struggling with sorrow and security concerns.
Residents of Bobo village in Lamu County were forced to flee after Somali militants from Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group allied with the Al-Qaeda network, killed four Christians there last month, several sources confirmed.
Christians reportedly left their homes and slept in the cold of the wilderness or the nearby Hindi town after Al-Shabaab militants accompanied by local Kiswahili-speaking people called three Christians out of their homes at about 3 a.m. local time on September 6 and slit their throats.
“These vicious acts of violence took place although the government had set a curfew in its efforts to prevent attacks from occurring in the counties of Lamu, Tana River, and Garissa,” explained advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC) which closely monitors the situation.
Among local men abducted by the militants was Hillary Njuguna, who apparently had been forced to reveal the names of fellow Christians before being killed.
Before calling out the names of the targeted victims, the assailants first surrounded their homes, according to Christians familiar with the area.
Along with other fleeing families, Njuguna spent the night hiding in the bushes outside but was discovered by militants.
Besides Njuguna, the slain victims also included Guchu Peter, Jared Maiko, and Joseph Kinuthia, Christians said. During the attack,
the militants reportedly also burned Guchu’s shop.
VOMC said that the “slaughter follows an August 18 assault” in Lamu County’s town of Kasala Kairu where the militants allegedly killed four other Christians.
Rebels from Al-Shabaab have increased violent assaults on non-Muslims in the northeast and coastal Kenya after Kenyan forces led an African coalition against terrorism in Somalia in 2011 following previous attacks on tourists and others along Kenya’s coast.
VOMC said it had called Christians to “prayerfully uphold the loved ones of those who were slain in these recent attacks, asking God to make His comforting presence known among them and to flood their grieving hearts with His overwhelming peace.”
Also, “intercede for the members of Al-Shabaab that they will experience the life-changing love of God in their lives as well,” the group added in a prayer letter obtained by BosNewsLife.
VOMC said it was crucial to pray that Christians in the targeted areas “will be granted protection” by authorities “as well as the strength and courage to stand firm in their faith.”
“May they rest in the assurance that though they pass through troubling waters and the fires of affliction, the Lord is still near to them” as described in Bible verse Isaiah 43:2 and that He “can be trusted above all things,” VOMC said.