Budapest Report on Christian Persecution 2020: sub-Saharan Christians, East Africa
In previous articles, I have written about the two first focal points of persecution, which are mentioned in András Stefanovszky's study about the situation of the sub-Saharan Christians. In this article, I will write about East Africa, the third focal point.
According to the author, among the three focal points, Christian persecution is the most recent addition, but it has been intensified over the last number of years. The two most affected countries in this area are Mozambique and Kenya.
In recent years, the Christian community in Mozambique has been suffering from serial violent attacks and natural disasters. In 2019, the country was devastated by two powerful cyclones, which lead to a humanitarian refugee crisis.
Since 2017, Islamist revolts have occurred in the northern Cabo Delgado regions, carried out by the al-Shabaab and the ISCAP terror groups. The jihadists usually target civil society to destabilise the area and to proclaim the Islamic caliphate.
Last April, the jihadist attacked and occupied the town of Mocímboa da Praia in a pre-planned attack. They provided the people with food and weapons to turn them against the government. In April, the Islamist soldiers destroyed at least five Christian churches and chapels in the area.
During the last three years, at least one thousand two hundred and twenty civilians have died in the attacks, and hundreds of villages have been destroyed. The law enforcement forces cannot fight the Islamists, and the country is in a humanitarian crisis.
In Kenya, 2020 was the bloodiest year for the Christian communities. The al-Shabaab terrorist group is carrying out a retaliatory jihad against the Christian population of the country’s northern region, in the Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties. In 2020 February and March, al-Shabaab attacked two buses in the region, separated, and then massacred the Christian passengers. In a video shared on the 23rd of February, al-Shabaab called the Muslim inhabitants of these three counties to chase Christians out, if they do not leave voluntarily.
Christian teachers in Kenya have been especially targeted over the last five years. During this time, thirty-two Christian teachers have been murdered. For this reason, teachers leave the northern region of Kenya. Until now, one thousand teachers emigrated from Mandera, eight hundred from Garissa and three hundred from Wajir.