(ADDS REACTION FROM CHRISTIAN IN NAIROBI AND OTHERS)
By BosNewsLife News Center
GRONINGEN/NAIROBI (BosNewsLife)– The 36-year-old Dutch missionary Ebel Kremer has been shot and killed in Kenya during a robbery, his church confirmed Friday, February 25. His wife Lora Kremer, 34, was reportedly raped in the overnight attack on their Christian orphanage in the town of Athi River near the capital Nairobi.
At least one attacker and a guard were injured in the violence, Dutch media reported.
The young children of the missionary couple, who witnessed the tragedy, “have been brought to safety,” said their Netherlands-based home church Vrije Baptistengemeente Groningen (Free Baptist Congregation Groningen) in the Dutch city of Groningen. “They are now supported by a Dutch married couple. Lora is also being cared for,” in a hospital, the church added in a statement on its website.
The couple worked for the international Christian organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and supported orphans in the African nation. Members of the couple’s Free Baptist Congregation, who were informed about the murder Friday, February 25, are in “deep shock,” the church stressed.
It was unknown whether suspects had been detained by Kenyan authorities.
The church leadership said it had urged members to pray that God will comfort Lora, the children and their family. “We can find comfort in the knowledge that our brother Ebel is now with the Lord.”
EXPRESSIONS OF GRIEF
There have been digital expressions of grief of several Dutch Baptist Christians. “We live in a sick world,” one of them said in a short message on Internet service Twitter. It’s time to “Pray for consolation,” said a young woman in another Internet message.
Several Christians, including those based in Kenya, told BosNewsLife they were shocked about the news. “I am praying for Lora and her children. I have been praying for them since I heard this news,” said Christine Enoch in a comment on the BosNewsLife.com website. “I am also praying for the extended family, as they are devestated by this news. I can only imagine their shock and pain.”
She said she had lived in three countries in Africa for the past 23 years. “I thank God for His mercy and protection. I currently live in Nairobi, so this [news about the attack] comes close to home, and makes me realize that the only hope I have is to turn my eyes upon Jesus,” Enoch wrote.
Funeral arrangements for the Dutch missionary were not immediately announced Friday, February 25.
The incident comes amid concerns over reported persecution of Christians from Muslim militants in especially the north eastern border area of Kenya with Somalia. “In some areas, an increase in persecution is the result of aggressive evangelism by the church,” advocacy and aid group Open Doors said.
However, “There is great pressure on Christian leaders in the Muslim-dominated communities and some have been won over by Muslim leaders,” the group explained in a recent statement on the situation of Christians in Kenya, where security remains fragile.
PS Cain, who said he had worked in Kenya, told BosNewsLife however that the area where the attack took place “is primarily ”Christian’ by name.” Most likely, Cain said, “the robbers would consider themselves ‘Christians’ and run from any Muslim label. This is a sad truth about Kenya in my mind.”
If the attackers were Muslims, they should be condemned, suggested ‘Volk’ a Muslim writer seeking contact with BosNewsLife. “I as a Muslim [of] 37-years old, feel sad about this incident. The Koran says that killing humans, and unacceptible sexual intercourse is very sinful,” he wrote. (With reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos).