A local high school was shut down in Nairobi, Kenya after Muslim students allegedly attacked and injured 35 students for refusing to convert to Islam.
Tensions between Christians and Muslims at the Kenyan school have been escalating for weeks. Muslims, primarily of Oromo, Boran and Somali descent have been complaining of discrimination. Due to the increased tensions, administrators at the boarding school designated separate sections of the library and bathrooms for Muslims and Christians.
In spite of administrator’s efforts, the tensions escalated into violence on January 23rd when Muslim students wielding machetes attacked Christian students in the East African school. The Muslim students were upset because the Christian students refused to undergo Muslim cleansing rituals or recite the Islamic creed for conversion. The Muslim students used force to try to get the Christians to convert to their faith. Christian students that refused to convert were beaten and knifed with machetes. The aftermath of the attack left 35 students injured. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment of dislocated bones and stab wounds.
Also injured in the clash was the school’s principal, Fred Awuor, who received treatment at a local hospital for his injuries. The school is closed indefinitely as authorities investigate what happened. The school’s security guards have received instructions not to let anyone into the school, according to Morning Star News.
Many Christians living in Kenya have been severely traumatized by violent attacks on their family, and live in constant fear of practicing their faith. Most of the violence comes from the Islamic group al-Shabaab. The group, which is based in Somalia, has been linked to numerous acts of terrorism since its inception.
In 2015, more than 148 students and university personnel were murdered at a Kenyan university when al-Shabaab militants purposely targeted Christian students at the school. The shooting started in the prayer room early in the morning, according to witnesses. Students were separated by religions. Those who could not recite parts of the Quran were either taken hostage or killed on the spot. Muslims were spared and allowed to leave. The attack went on for hours.
Also in 2015, Al-Shabaab Muslims boarded a bus at dawn in northern Kenya. They singled out and killed 28 Christians. The passengers were asked to recite the Quran. Those who could not recite a certain creed were assumed to be Christians and separated from the Muslims. The Christians were then forced to lie on the ground in a row and shot.
Approximately 30 men from the same Islamic group went door-to-door in 2017 and murdered Christians in villages throughout Kenya, occasionally beheading Christian men. Children and wives were forced to watch their family members die.
Five Christian men and two Christian police officers were murdered by Muslim militants in January 2016 in their homes. Several Christian teachers have also been killed by Muslims in Kenya.
Rampant corruption in Kenya means that the violence against Christians in the country often goes unpunished. In fact, in the attack on Garissa university in 2015, it is believed that al-Shabaab executes it by bribing security officials to help them import illegal ammunition and weapons. The fact that officials turn a blind eye to persecution or sometimes even encourage it means that Christians live in constant fear in the country.
~ 1776 Christian