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Somali pastor attacked for leaving Islam in Kenya

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.


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.

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.



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