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News / Thoughts

Kenyan students massacred

April 7, 2015

“The mistake they made was to say ‘Jesus, please save us’…That is when they were immediately shot.”

Reuben Mwavita, is 21. He’s a student at the University in Garissa, north-eastern Kenya. Last Thursday he was one of those who survived a brutal gun attack on his fellow students by members of the terrorist group al-Shabaab. In total, 148 people were killed. They were mainly aged between 19 and 23.

The attackers separated Christian students from Muslim ones and massacred the Christians.

“The attackers were just in the next room,” said Susan Kitoko, a student. “I heard them ask people whether they were Christian or Muslim, then I heard gunshots and screams.” Susan broke her hip in her escape, when she jumped out of the first floor window of her dorm.

The four gunmen were eventually cornered by Kenyan security forces after a day-long siege. They then killed themselves by detonating suicide vests. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the massacre, saying it was retribution for Kenya’s sending of troops to Somalia to fight the extremists.

Collins Wetangula, a student at the college, and survivor of the attack managed to escape: “If you were a Christian, you were shot on the spot… With each blast of the gun, I thought I was going to die.”

Easter prayers

The attack was clearly timed to coincide with the Easter. At churches throughout Kenya a three-day period of mourning for those slaughtered took place over the weekend.

A student who had returned home from Garissa for the Easter break told the BBC that many of those at the college were Christians from western Kenya. Kenya operates a swap scheme for tertiary level education, which means that students must study in a different region from where they went to senior school.

More than 80 percent of Kenyans are Christian. But in north-eastern Kenya, nearly 90 percent are Muslim.

Where did this happen?

Source: BBC; Guardian; Associated Press, World Watch Monitor

Please pray

  • For the families of the victims as they mourn their loved ones
  • For the embattled Christians in north-eastern Kenya who live in fear of militant attacks
  • That the government of Kenya would be able to bring security to this region

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.