Wajir County, Kenya
Photo by NordNordWest, Creative Commons

Christian pastor beaten for leaving Islam

WAJIR, Kenya – A Somali-born pastor in Kenya suffered a broken leg during a beating Dec. 3 for leaving Islam to become a Christian, Morning Star News reports.

The pastor (name withheld for safety) said four Kenyan-born, ethnic Somali Muslims beat him near Wajir, 62 miles from the Somali border, according to reports. The assailants fled when a vehicle approached. The passerby took the pastor to a hospital.

The attack occurred after the pastor had led an underground meeting of 13 new Christians of Somali descent, Morning Star reported.

The pastor, a father of three, left Somalia 15 years ago and became a Christian four years ago. Since the attack, the family has relocated, the report says.

Generally, Somalis believe all Somalis are Muslim by birth. Somalis who become Christians can be charged with apostasy, punishable by death. Somalia’s constitution establishes Islam as the state religion and prohibits propagating any other religion, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Somalia is No. 3 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places where it is most difficult to be a Christian. Kenya is No. 49. Open Doors will release its 2022 World Watch List on Jan. 19.

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