The disturbing treatment of this pastor and his family illustrates yet again how conversion to Christianity is so often the occasion for persecution of Christians — both of the converts and of those who brought the converts the word of the Gospel.
For further information, the website Orthodox Christian Initiative for Africa offers regular news on the Orthodox Church in Kenya and all over the continent.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Kenya, see here.
“Somali Pastor of Underground Church in Kenya Wounded,” Morning Star News, September 5, 2022:
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – A Somali pastor of a secret fellowship in Kenya is still recovering from an infected wound after attacks on him, his wife and child for leaving Islam, he said.
The 33-year-old pastor, who was still in pain this week as he received medical treatment for wounds on his hand and shoulders from an Aug. 10 assault by his father-in-law, remained under pressure to recant from Muslims in Wajir County, northeastern Kenya. He has lived in Kenya since 2014.
He developed an infection that left his hand numb and without circulation after his father-in-law beat him with a thorny stick, and Muslims visiting and praying with him told him the infection was punishment from God as they pressured him to return to Islam, said the pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons.
“This is a curse from Allah – if you return to Islam, then Allah will heal you,” they told him, the pastor said.
“All these three weeks while I’ve been sick, they have been pressuring my wife to divorce me and return to Islam,” he told Morning Star News. “But my wife has stood with me. We really need prayers so that God will miraclulously [sic] heal me and get me out of the hospital.”
His father-in-law and another relative of Somali descent last month stopped him outside his home and began reviling him for “converting his daughter to a bad religion,” he said.
“He was furious and took a thorny stick and hit me on my hand and shoulders, and I fell down screaming and wailing, calling for help,” he told Morning Star News. “When they saw neighbors approaching, they left. The pain was too much, and I was rushed to a nearby clinic.”
By Aug. 16 his left hand was swollen with intense pain that lasted for two weeks, he said.
“I became restless – I felt like my heart was going to stop,” the pastor said. “I was in a state of restlessness, and the doctor suggested that the hand needed to be amputated.”
The hand showed improvement by Aug. 30, but there were signs of serious infection in his blood, he said.
“The thorny stick used to hit part of my hand and shoulder could have been a poisonous one,” he said. “At the moment, the part of my hand is numb and the veins are inactive.”…
The family has yet to decide on whether they can safely report the Aug. 10 assault to police, especially if officers will not provide security or they are unable to relocate to another area, he said.
Somalis generally believe all Somalis are Muslims by birth and that any Somali who becomes a Christian can be charged with apostasy, punishable by death. Somalia’s constitution establishes Islam as the state religion and prohibits the propagation of any other religion, according to the U.S. State Department. It also requires that laws comply with sharia (Islamic law) principles, with no exceptions in application for non-Muslims.
While Kenya was not on the worst 50 countries on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of those where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Somalia ranked 3rd.