BACKGROUND: Kenya, the hub of East Africa, is politically and economically stable, and it is developing quickly. In eastern Kenya, 90 percent of the population is ethnically Somali.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Most Kenyans are Christian, with a growing population of Muslims.
PERSECUTOR: Islamic extremists are active mostly in the north and east, but their reach extends to Nairobi in the south. In the coastal areas, community members and local governments also persecute Christians. Pastors and evangelists who reach out to traditional tribal groups, like the Maasai, also experience persecution.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN KENYA: Christians cannot openly discuss their faith in areas with a Somali majority or areas near the northern border. If they do, they risk losing their family, job and community. There is a significant threat of violence against Christian converts in Somali areas. In eastern Kenya, al-Shabab terrorizes Christians, bombing churches and killing believers. In Muslim-majority areas along the coast, Christians are socially rejected. In Nairobi, churches commonly fear Christian converts from Islam.