Kenya’s Christians ‘living in fear’ after latest attack, says bishop

Since Somali militants killed 36 non-Muslim quarry workers in early December, Christians in Kenya “are living in fear, wondering where the next attack will be,” Bishop Emanuel Barbara of Malindi, Kenya, has warned.

“As Church leaders, “we are telling our people, ‘Be cautious and pay attention to what’s happening around you; but don’t let anger and vengeance grow in your hearts’,” Bishop Barbara said. At the same time, Kenya’s Catholic bishops were “putting pressure on the government to change the way the security forces deal with this situation”, he said.

Corruption in Kenya’s security forces was a major problem, he said, noting that to prevent further escalation of tensions, the government needed to ensure that its security forces were strong.

“We would like to see our security forces taking the lead and to have a sense that they are in charge,” Bishop Barbara said, noting that most Kenyans now felt “that it’s the Muslim militants who will decide when and where to attack next”.