By BosNewsLife Africa Service
NAIROBI, KENYA (BosNewsLife)– Several Christian children are recovering from injuries after suspected Muslim militants attacked them on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital, Christians familiar with the case said.
The militants attacked three of eight children belonging to a Christian widow near Nairobi on November 17. “As a result, the two older children of those harmed suffered severe injuries. Hadiya, an immigrant from Somalia, had not yet returned from a trip to a funeral when the assailants — also of Somali descent — broke into her home at 5:30 in the morning,” said advocacy and aid group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC). Her family name was withheld amid security concerns.
Hadiya’s 17-year-old daughter was asleep in her room, and two sons were sleeping in the front area when the attack occurred, Christians said.
The sons, aged 13 and 21, reportedly asked the militants knocking at their door to identify themselves but they forced their way into the home by smashing a window.
When the three victims tried to escape, the intruders allegedly attacked them. When neighbors of the family arrived at the scene, the militants had already disappeared, according to investigators. No group claimed responsibility.
After the attacks, which left a trail of blood throughout the front room of the family’s home, Hadiya’s three injured children were rushed
to the hospital, Christians said.
“The youngest of the three sustained injuries to his left leg, neck, and chest; while his elder brother, who was hit with a blunt object, sustained more serious injuries to his head, chest and back. Their 17-year-old sister, who also received heavy blows and kicks, bled from her nose and sustained a rib injury,” added VOMC.
This assault on Hadiya’s family wasn’t an isolated incident. “Since embracing Christianity, they have suffered much persecution. In another incident, which took place last year, one of Hadiya’s other adult sons was beaten so badly that he was left unconscious. Please pray for this widow and her children,” VOMC said in a statement
The group said it had asked supporters to pray for the men who perpetrated the attacks. “May they, too, respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who is at work in their lives through the prayers of His people by drawing them with cords of God’s unfailing and everlasting love.”
The attack came amid concerns that persecution of Christians in Kenya has been increasing over the past three years. “The main source of persecution for Christians in Kenya is Islamic oppression – as perpetrated by al-Shabaab and other militant groups,” explained advocacy and relief group Open Doors.
It has noted that “violent attacks on Christians by Islamic militants in northeastern and coastal Kenya have had a ripple effect on Christian communities throughout the country.”
Though Christians comprise roughly 82 percent of Kenya’s population, “in areas dominated by Islam, Christians are targets for persecution,” the group added. “Unfortunately, the corruption of public institutions is rampant, which limits protections for persecuted believers.”
Open Doors said it is supporting “persecuted Christians” in the African nation through local partners “to provide evangelism and discipleship training, economic assistance, leadership, and management training for churches, trauma care training and more.” (With reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos).
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