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Pope Francis

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Kenyan Bishop on international indifference after massacre of 150 Christian students

2015-05-17

When Pope Francis met with Bishops from Kenya, one of the main issues they talked about was the recent massacre of 150 Christian students in the University of Garissa. It's an attack that was carried out by Muslim extremists. On Holy Thursday, Christian students were separated for Muslims and were then shot. 

Visibly shaken, Bishop Anthony Muheria says he was disappointed by the international reaction, which didn't pay much attention to the tragedy. 

MSGR. ANTHONY MUHERIA 
Bishop of Kitui (Kenya)
"They only address something if they are directly affected. If the victims had been exchange students from the United States, I think the international reaction would have been a lot different.” 

That's why the international community, he says, needs to take action to stop Islamic extremism. The problem he says, is no longer isolated. Rather, it's a global challenge. 

MSGR. ANTHONY MUHERIA 
Bishop of Kitui (Kenya)
"This is what we have to highlight time and time again. If the victim is American,  Italian,  Kenyan, African, Indian, Asian. Whether the person is educated or not, Muslim, poor or rich- a life is a life and 150 people are too many.”  

Since the tragedy struck, the Church is providing moral and spiritual support for the victim's families. 

MSGR. ANTHONY MUHERIA 
Bishop of Kitui (Kenya)
"As a Church we're trying to help people. First comes forgiveness, especially in this Year of Mercy. They can't leave any room for hatred or revenge in their hearts. It's not easy because it's only human for them to feel a sense of pain and bitterness.” 

Even though Christians were clearly targeted in the attack, the Church has a strong presence in Kenya. About one third of the population is Catholic, which breaks down to about 7 million people. The country also has more than 5,000 seminarians. 

MSGR. ANTHONY MUHERIA 
Bishop of Kitui (Kenya)
"We need a moment of grace. A moment where we can feel the active presence of the Holy Spirit. That testimony cannot come to life without the help of the Holy Spirit.” 

During the Pope's Urbi et Orbi blessing on Easter the Pope prayed for the 150 Christians students who were killed because of their faith. 

The Pope has consistently denounced the persecution of Christians and the complicit silence that often comes with it. 


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