NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) While the smoke that hung over the Westgate Shopping Mall has dissipated, a quiet tension still lingers in the air throughout the capital.
Last month’s attack by al-Shabab militants on a mall frequented by Westerners in the capital city, left at least 67 dead. But the burning of a Christian church in the majority-Muslim city Mombasa just two weeks later suggests the nation is on the precipice of more conflict between Christians and Muslims.
This is dispiriting for many in a country that for years enjoyed relative peace between the two monotheistic religions that dominate the region.
“I am afraid that now, Muslims will attack more and the Christians will arm themselves and fight back,” said Paul Komu, a truck driver and Christian who was driving near Westgate when the attacks occurred.
Kenya is predominantly Christian, with Muslims making up about 11 percent of its population, mostly along the Somali border, its coastal region, and in cities such as Mombasa.