Published: 10:00 GMT Standard Time - Friday 30 November 2012
Editorial: Islamist groups threaten future of Church in East Africa
The Church in Kenya and Tanzania is under mounting threat from radical Islamist groups that are carrying out attacks with growing frequency and ferocity in a bid to wipe out Christianity from Africa’s east coast.
This year has seen a barrage of deadly attacks on churches and the targeting of Christian leaders in both countries, which have previously enjoyed peaceful relations between people of different religions.
The general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) said:
Christians have been killed, injured or maimed for life. The violence appears well planned, pre-meditated and systematic.
Political and church leaders have expressed concerns that the campaign will degenerate into a religious war, with references being made to Nigeria, where militant Islamist group Boko Haram has been wreaking havoc against Christians in its fight to establish an Islamic state.
A Barnabas Aid contact in Tanzania said:
Tanzania is no longer that peaceful country as it was known… the Muslims are openly waging war against Christianity. If it was not for the constant prayers and the forgiveness of Christians, the situation would have been worse.