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Church wants halt to killing of Christians

Church wants halt to killing of Christians

Some of the relatives still in shock and sombre mood as they mourn their loved ones who died in the Garissa University attack outside Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi on April 9, 2015. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some of the relatives still in shock and sombre mood as they mourn their loved ones who died in the Garissa University attack outside Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi on April 9, 2015. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The clerics who visited Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi to condole with families of Garissa University College attack victims said they will not remain silent as their flock continues to be massacred by the Somali militia group

“While urging our Christians to be peacemakers, we will not remain silent as they continue being massacred,” the Church leaders said in a joint statement.

The leaders said the systematic profiling, isolation and massacre of Christians across the country must stop, terming it a deliberate attempt to expel Christians from places such as Wajir where the faithful were living in military camps due to fear.

The leaders were John Cardinal Njue (Catholic), Most Rev Eliud Wabukala (Anglican), Rev Silas Yego (African Inland Church), Rt Rev Joseph Ntombura (Methodist Church), Rt Rev David Riitho Gathanju (Presbyterian Church of East Africa), Rev Canon Rosemary Mbogo of the National Council of Churches of Kenya and Bishop Mark Kariuki of Deliverance Church in Kenya.

The religious leaders held a daylong meeting where they brainstormed and reflected on the recent happenings in the country before visiting the bereaved families camping at Chiromo mortuary.

At least 20 bodies of victims of the Garissa University College killings last week had been collected between Wednesday and Thursday.

Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amina Mohammed who also visited the mortuary broke down as she consoled the bereaved families.

The church leaders expressed regret that most of those killed during last week’s attack on Garissa University College by the Somali militant group were young Christians in a prayer session.

Rev Wabukala, referring to part of their statement said churches were still coming to terms with the horror, helplessness and pain suffered by the young students, staff members and security personnel who lost their lives in the massacre as well as those who are still nursing injuries and trauma in different hospitals and at home.

They asked all religious leaders to desist from teaching, preaching and spreading hatred among their flocks.

The government also came under stinging criticism over its response to the Garissa attack, with the leaders demanding that top security chiefs must take responsibility for negligence and abdication of duty that led to the horrific massacre.

The clerics said they were shocked by information that government through its intelligence services knew of the impending attack but did nothing.

“Clearly there exists serious loopholes in the chain of command in our security apparatus,” they stated. “We shall not tire in reminding the government to take its responsibility to protect every Kenyan more seriously,” they said.

They asked the government to introduce emergency response training at all learning institutions and to all other vulnerable groups, stating that it was clear the country has not learnt any lessons from the past regarding its’ emergency response strategies.

“Time has come for us to ask ourselves certain questions such as how prepared we are to respond to future attacks, how have we prepared our children to respond when under attack and how can we minimise casualties during emergencies,” they stated.

They also asked the government to develop mechanisms to continuously vet all employees to ensure they are not used to radicalise students and recruit them to join subversive groups.

The leaders, however, asked Kenyans to remain united and embrace the spirit of nationalism and patriotism and to remain vigilant and flush out any suspicious elements among them.

“It is sad that there are terrorists living among us yet we are not reporting them to the relevant authorities,” they said.

They also asked parents and guardians to keep an eye on their children so that they are able to account for their whereabouts.

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