Religious Leaders Condemn Mass Murders at Kenyan Mall
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Sep 24
The stand-off at Westgate shopping center in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi continued well into the night on Monday, the third day since the siege started, Open Doors USA reports. In late afternoon there was heavy gunfire and explosions as Kenya Defense Forces engaged the attackers. Kenyan officials announced later that they were in the final stages of bringing to an end the stand-off. In the early hours on Tuesday officials said they had freed hostages, but did not say how many. They also said they had killed three of the attackers and were combing the mall for more survivors. Just before 2 a.m. local time Tuesday news spread that security and medical personnel were packing up and leaving the scene. Then, around 6:30, more gunfire and an explosion were heard. No further details were available. While the death toll was revised from the earlier 68 to 62, it is still expected that it would rise considerably as more bodies are discovered. The Kenyan Red Cross said at least another 62 people were unaccounted for. Meanwhile, responses came from religious leaders in the country. "Pray for those who are traumatized from the incident; that the Lord will give them strength and the ability to stand the trial. Also, pray that the Lord will continue to hold this country together as we too pray for the leadership of this country," said one Christian leader whose name was not immediately available. "I ask the community of the Catholic Church to pray for the victims and to pray for those who are still held in the mall," a Catholic priest told media. Rev. John Mark of the Anglican Church of Kenya commented, "As Christians, we should be able to reach out and share love with our brothers and sisters from different faiths." Various Muslim leaders also came out to condemn the attack, appealing for calm and vowing to work with the security agents as investigations continue.