Security tightened in churches after Mombasa attacks
(Sh.M.Network) -- Security was tightened at various churches in Kenya as worshippers went to the places of worship the first Sunday since widespread chaos targeting Christians erupted in the coastal town of Mombasa.
The riots, sparked by the killing of Moslem holy man Aboud Rogo last Monday, saw protestors attack dozens of churches in what many feared could spark religious violence.
The rioters looted property from churches and set others ablaze in protests that threatened to ignite religious animosity in the East African nation.
Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga blamed the violence that lasted three days on Al-Qaeda allies Al-Shabaab
... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda...
, whom Kenya and its partners, are fighting in Somalia.
While police managed to quell the violence in Mombasa, many Christians fear for their lives since protestors may spread their attacks.
Besides that, threats of terror attacks from Al-Shabaab still linger over the East African nation.
In the capital Nairobi, faithful in various popular churches worshipped under the watchful eyes of security officers.
The officers made up of private security guards and the police kept vigil as people worshipped, a scenario that has now become familiar to many Christians since snuffies began to target churches in the East African nation.
Worshippers went through several security checks with those carrying handbags and other luggage having to endure lengthy searches.
At Kayole Catholic Church in the east of the capital, faithful queued as several security officers frisked them with metal detectors.
"It is prudent that we delay the service but ensure that worshippers are safe.
"We cannot take chances with the safety of the faithful," said a security officer as he frisked even children.
The officer noted that while they had intensified security since threats of attack started, last week's events inMombasawas a reminder that churches are under threat.
"The riots in Mombasa pointed to the fact that Christian's places of worship and faithful are not safe.
"Churches seemingly have become prime targets of protestors and terrorists," he said.
And as security guards did their work, armed coppers watched from a distance scouting for trouble makers.
"It is said that we have to worship under tight security.
"Things have really changed in this country.
"The depressing thing is that the situation seems not be improving as time goes by," said Silvanus Marete, a worshipper at the church.
Marete noted that churches have become main targets because criminals believe they can get crowds to hurt.
"Terrorists in their misguided missions know that churches are always full of people.
"So, if they attack them, they will inflict pain on many people, but this should not be the case," he said.
He recounted that before the fresh attacks on churches inMombasalast week, security in most churches had been relaxed.
"Security officers were searching people using metal detectors but coppers had stopped manning churches," he said.
According to Marete, threats of terror attack hanging over churches are making the places of worship insecure.
"People can no longer seek solace and guidance at places of worship because they have become insecure and top targets of criminals.
"It is unusual for people to worship under the watchful eyes of police.
"This is not what should happen at places of worship," he said.
Posted by: Fred