The coexistence of Christians and Muslims is threatened in Lamu County, Kenya. A group of clergy members calls upon government authorities to bolster security in the region. They aim to prevent further attacks that have disrupted the coexistence of Christians and Muslims. Moreover, they urge security agencies to enhance intelligence efforts.
The devastating impact of the recent attacks has prompted the Lamu Christian Leaders Fellowship to voice their concerns to the media. Bishop Damson Kiarie, speaking on behalf of the fellowship, stated, “Many unfortunate events have occurred in this region. We are deeply concerned and implore the government to take decisive measures to protect lives and property. Furthermore, we call upon those involved in these activities to desist. Such actions do not align with our faith and can bring misfortune to future generations.”
Bishop Jeremiah Kivuvi echoed these sentiments. “These incidents are detrimental and provoke hostility, especially when Christians endure the loss of their property and see their churches set ablaze. I appeal to all parties involved to cease these activities immediately. I call upon the government, which possesses the authority and resources, to employ its intelligence apparatus to root out these threats. Cooperation between the government and the local populace, with prompt action on provided tips, is essential in finding lasting solutions.”
‘Terrorism not rooted in religion’
The clergy members assert that terrorism in Lamu has recently escalated. They highlight that discussions surrounding terrorism often point to religion, politics, and land disputes without yielding meaningful solutions. With the latest developments, there is growing concern that the coexistence of Christians and Muslims in Lamu County, where both communities have historically lived harmoniously, is under threat. The clergy members stress that terrorism is not rooted in religion.
Residents of Lamu West have witnessed a series of terror-related incidents. One of the latest included burning houses and a church in Salama village, which underlined the clergy’s concerns. Other attacks occurred along the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road.
Moreover, suspected al-Shabaab militants torched homes in Salama Block 17 and Widho villages. These events have resulted in the loss of lives and significant property damage, raising questions about the government’s seriousness in assuring the safety of residents in the region.