Mombasa Central Corps puts safety first

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Photo courtesy of Mombasa Central Corps

Continuing threats of terrorism impede activities at The Salvation Army’s Mombasa Central Corps in Kenya.

By Karen Gleason –

A continued high threat of terrorism in Mombasa, Kenya, affected activities at The Salvation Army’s Mombasa Central Corps, which has coexisted peacefully with its Muslim neighbors for 60 years, each respecting the other’s faith.

A Feb. 2 police raid at Musa Mosque in the Majengo district of Mombasa—close to The Salvation Army facility—resulted in several deaths. Amid this tense atmosphere with the possibility of violent protest, The Salvation Army thought first of people’s safety. The Army’s Mombasa Central Band suspended its practices, urging everyone to stay safe.

Several terrorist acts have occurred since September 2013, after a four-day siege and hostage crisis at Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall, where terrorists killed 72 people and left dozens more wounded.

On Oct. 4, 2013, a Muslim group set fire to the Mombasa Central Corps in retaliation for the previous day’s drive-by shooting death of Islamic cleric Ibrahim Omar, which they blamed on Christians. The Salvation Army corps endured a similar assault just over a year earlier.

The corps continued to hold worship services after these attacks, despite extensive damage to the facility. The Salvation Army retains close ties with its Muslim neighbors, and responds to the terrorist acts by praying for those responsible.

In a recent visit with Open Doors representatives, Salvation Army Major Robert Naioka said, “We are resolved to continue doing the Lord’s work in this area…We will not give up.”

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