At least nine Christians were murdered by Islamic extremists in Kenya on Dec. 6 because they refused to recite the Islamic Shadada, a Muslim creed, according to International Christian Concern (ICC), a human rights organization based in Washington, D.C.
The ICC further reported that similar crimes have occurred in Northern Kenya for many years, usually carried out by members of the radical Islamic group al-Shabaab.
"On December 6, 2019, 11 non-local Christian passengers were attacked while travelling to Mandera from Nairobi and killed at Kotulo in northeastern Kenya," said the ICC. "They were reportedly separated from their Muslim counterparts and killed for failing to recite the Islamic Shahada."
A Kenyan police officer told the ICC that “a passenger bus belonging to Medina Bus Company, traveling between Wajir and Mandera was attacked by a criminal gang at around 1730 hours this evening. The attack happened at Maadathe area, five kilometers to Kotulo. Lives are believed to have been lost.”
According to the ICC and its sources, the passengers on the bus were separated by the Islamist radicals. "Nine of the passengers on the Mandera-bound bus who could not recite the Shahada were paraded out of the bus and shot dead at close range by those believed to be al-Shabaab militants," said the ICC. Two bus passengers are still missing and considered dead.
The people killed were Athanus Kiti, Enos Odhiambo, Kelvin Mandela, Wisely Meli, Tikane Kasale, Leonard Mukanda, Francis Mbuvi, Rodgers Machuka, and Anchari Okerosi. The two still missing are Emmanuel Barasa and Nathan Bett.
The governor of Mandera County in Kenya, Ibrahim Ali Roba, said of the crime, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the heinous bus attack near Kotulo, Wajir today around 5:00 p.m. where 10 passengers were killed [or are missing]. I am informed that the suspected al-Shabaab fighters cowardly segregated non-locals heading to Mandera from Nairobi. It is extremely sad and humanly disturbing to learn that, yet again, they segregated locals from non-locals before killing those they believed to be non-locals.”
The ICC further reported two Christian men, Frederick Ngonde and Joshua Obila, were killed in a similar manner in 2018 -- they refused to recite the Islamic creed.
In 2015, at least 148 students at Garissa University were gunned down by Muslim extremists, said the ICC. That same year, "a Muslim teacher, Salah Farah, was shot for defending Christian passengers who were being separated for execution by al-Shabaab."
In 2014, "28 teachers traveling to Nairobi for the Christmas holiday were killed after being forced to recite the Islamic statement of faith," reported the ICC.
Nathan Johnson, the ICC's regional manager for Africa, said, "We hope that the government will take effective action to stop the senseless killing of so many Christians in Kenya at the hands of Islamic extremists like al-Shabaab. We praise God as the refuge and strong tower that He is for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure so much.”