49

Kenya

Kenya

World Watch List Rank 49
World Watch List Score 62/100
Leader President Uhuru Kenyatta 
Population  53,492,000 | 43,991,000 Christians
Main Religion Christianity
WWL Rank in 2020 44
Persecution Level Very High Persecution

In Kenya, Christianity is the majority religion, but that hasn’t stopped the spread of persecution. Particularly, Christians with a Muslim background in the northeast and coastal regions live under constant threat of attack—even from their closest relatives. Our research revealed that Christians were attacked and forced to flee their villages, and Islamic extremist group al-Shabab has infiltrated the local population to monitor the activities of Christians in those areas.   

However, organized crime is also a serious problem. Corrupt officials often fail to take measures against persecutors—increasing the potential for further incidents against Christians.  

For believers in Kenya, daily life is filled with pressure—especially in their private and social lives. In some regions like the northeast, where al-Shabab is a constant threat, church and community life are very difficult and can also include the threat of violence.  

What changed this year?

The situation for Christians in Kenya has remained dire over the last three years. While Kenya moved down five spots from the 2020 World Watch List, violence actually increased significantly—reflecting an overall increase in persecution across the list versus an improved situation for Kenyan Christians.      

HOW WE HELP

Open Doors has been present, working in Kenya through local partners and churches since the early 2000s. We offer support to churches in the volatile Islam-dominated northeastern border and coastal regions. Much of our work has been in the area of equipping the church—and more recently, our work has focused on COVID-19 relief.

Christians are increasingly facing persecution, and it is our mission to see the local church prepared to disciple new believers, train leaders and help them remain strong. Open Doors also assists in cross-cultural evangelism, economic empowerment, and leadership and trauma care training.   

PRAY FOR KENYA

  • Please pray for the Lord’s continued grace for new believers in Kenya. Pray that through trials and persecution they would see the Lord’s faithfulness in protection and provision.  
  • Pray for Christians in the northeast who face threats of deadly attacks from al-Shabab. Ask God to protect them, shelter them from violence and give them a peace that only comes from Him. 
  • Pray that the Church in Kenya would be equipped to disciple believers, to train godly leaders and to effectively share the gospel with their neighbours.
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