In the rioting in Kenya over a disputed election that has sparked inter-tribal warfare, Springs of Life Lutheran Church has been looted and burned. The congregation is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya, which is in fellowship with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The home of the ELCK bishop, Dr. Walter Obare, a noted spokesman for orthodox Christianity against the liberal west, was said to be in danger.
Springs of Life lost not only its sanctuary but its nursery school and its medical clinic that ministered to the Kenyan poor. That clinic had just been remodeled with the help of American congregations.
For more details and for a way you can help click here.
UPDATE: This conflict is NOT between Muslims and Christians. Both of the tribes tearing each other apart are predominately Christian from many different denominations. The Kikuyus have been the ruling tribe, with the Luos feeling oppressed and mistreated. The riots started when the Kikuyu president was re-elected amidst charges of stealing the election, whereupon the Luos rose up in protest.
According to my research, the Lutherans are primarily Luos. It was Luos–hopefully, not any of the relatively small number of Lutherans–who burned the Assemblies of God church and slaughtered between 30 and 50 Kikukyus who had gone there for sanctuary. Apparently, the Kikuyus are now burning Luo churches. Or perhaps this is not so much revenge as what happens in a state of anarchy when all social order breaks down.
If anyone has any more background information. please comment.
UPDATE: Rev. Mark Sell, whose Friends of Mercy organization does work in Kenya, gives some more perspective in a comment here. And on his blog he gives more details and pictures, including of the people the church ministered to and of the church burning.
HT: Mary Moerbe