Somali pastor of underground church in Kenya injured

NAIROBI, KenyaSeptember 5, 2022 (Morning Star News) – A Somali pastor from a secret community in Kenya is still recovering from an infected wound after attacks on him, his wife and child for leaving Islam, he said declared.

The 33-year-old pastor, who was still in pain this week while receiving medical treatment for hand and shoulder injuries from an Aug. 10 assault by his stepfather, remained under pressure to recant from Muslims by Wajir. County, North Eastern Kenya. He has lived in Kenya since 2014.

He developed an infection that left his hand numb and without circulation after his stepfather beat him with a thorny stick, and Muslims who visited and prayed with him told him the infection was a punishment of God because they pushed him to return to Islam said the pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons.

“It’s a curse from Allah – if you return to Islam, then Allah will heal you,” they told him, the pastor said.

“During these three weeks that I was sick, they pressured my wife to divorce her and return to Islam,” he told Morning Star News. “But my wife supported me. We really need prayers for God to miraculously heal me and get me out of the hospital.

Last month, his stepfather and another relative of Somali descent stopped him outside his home and started insulting him for “converting his daughter to a wrong religion”, he said.

“He was furious and took a thorny stick and hit me in the hand and shoulders, and I fell down screaming and moaning, calling for help,” he told Morning Star News. “When they saw neighbors approaching, they left. The pain was too bad and I was rushed to a nearby clinic.

On August 16, his left hand was swollen with severe pain that lasted two weeks, he said.

“I became restless – I felt like my heart was going to stop,” the pastor said. “I was in an agitated state and the doctor suggested the hand should be amputated.”

The hand showed improvement on August 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 poisonous,” he said. “At the moment part of my hand is numb and the veins are inactive.”

In May, Muslim women beat his wife as she returned from a market, she said.

“Two Muslim women stopped me coming from the market near our house and slapped me and bruised my face,” she told Morning Star News. “When I shouted, they ran away.”

Muslim women visiting their home in 2021 had found a Bible on their shelf and started interrogating it, and since then the family has been monitored and received threats, the pastor said. The first of their four children, 8, was promptly beaten by ethnic Somali boys and was treated in hospital for knee and foot injuries, the pastor said.

After fleeing conflict-torn Somalia to Kenya in 2014, he married a Somali-born Kenyan and later met Christian workers who shared the gospel with him. He put his faith in Christ, and a year later his wife was also converted.

In 2015, he began leading an underground community that met in a safe place, and two years later Muslims began questioning him and his wife about why they missed prayers. Friday at the mosque. He told them he was busy taking computer classes while his wife took care of their young children, the pastor said.

The family has yet to decide whether it is safe to report the Aug. 10 assault to police, particularly if officers are not providing security or are unable to move to another location. area, he said.

Somalis generally believe that all Somalis are Muslim by birth and that any Somali who becomes a Christian can be charged with apostasy, which carries the death penalty. Somalia’s constitution establishes Islam as the state religion and prohibits the spread of any other religion, according to the US State Department. It also requires that laws respect Sharia (Islamic law), without exception of application for non-Muslims.

While Kenya was not among the 50 worst countries on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2022 global watch list of the hardest to be a Christian, Somalia ranked 3rd.

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Release date: September 6, 2022

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Natanael Ginting

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