Christians deliberately singled out in Kenyan massacre, police say

Christian students were deliberately targeted in the Islamist attack on the Garissa University campus, according to Kenyan police.

148 people were killed and many more wounded during the 15-hour siege, which ended only after four militants were killed. The Somali-based al-Shabab group claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Nairobi’s Cardinal John Njue condemned the attack, calling on Christians to commit themselves to praying for peace and security in their homeland. “We need to constantly invoke God's name, following common attacks in the country by the al-Shabaab militia group, including the most recent one at Garissa”, he said. 

Describing how the attack had shocked his brother bishops, especially Bishop Paul Darmanin of Garissa, the cardinal recalled how Christ himself was persecuted and suffered. 

“We as a nation are undergoing through many challenges and we must remain fixed to things above. Let us pray for the families and victims of Garissa terror attack and let their dead be a meaning to us," he said.

Urging his flock against giving up in the face of terror, and implored them not to see the Garissa massacre through a sectarian lens, the cardinal said “we must remain united and not give a few people the impression that this is a war between Christians and Muslims”.

Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta announced three days of national mourning and thanked those who have stood by Kenya, including Pope Francis, whose Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a telegram condemning the attack’s “senseless brutality”. He assured the bereaved of his prayers, and called for greater efforts “to bring an end to such violence and to hasten the dawn of a new era of brotherhood, justice and peace”.