Uganda (WWM) — Uganda and Kenya authorities have brought in security in recent days in response to warnings from Western countries that a jihadist group is planning to attack churches in Uganda.
The U.S. embassy in Uganda warned that churches there could face “specific threats” from Al Shabab, a Somalia-based militant Islamist terrorist group.
The threats against the two East African countries are said to be due to each having peacekeeping troops in Somalia.
On May 21, a grenade attack a few metres from a mosque in Garissa, close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, is believed to have killed one and injured 11. No one yet has claimed responsibility.
On May 16, 10 people were reported killed and more than 70 people injured in Gikomba, a market in the capital city, Nairobi. Three people died and 86 were injured during a twin blast May 5 along Kenya’s busy Thika highway.
Some Western countries such as Great Britain, the United States, France and Australia have issued travel advisories concerning Kenya, based on the threats from Al Shabab. British tourists in particular have abandoned travel plans to Kenya or have returned home.
“The influx of guns and other dangerous weapons into the country is alarming,” said Cardinal John Njue, chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Suddenly, Kenyans cannot go to places of worship without fear. A country that has for years been called the oasis of peace in the region has become a terrorist playground.”
Even with all the terror, Christians and Muslims have lived peacefully together in Uganda.
“As a Christian, I feel that the threat to churches is an issue of orientation. Some people are simply bad and hide behind religion to settle scores. There is no possible justification for taking another’s life,” said a resident of Kampala.
Many Christians are encouraged by each other to raise their voices against any possible attack.
Pray that terrorist threats will not become reality. Pray for the Christians in Uganda as they seek peace.