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Kenyan church leaders urge caution after terrorist attack

05 October 2012


Crime scene: a policeman examines the damage after an explosive device devastated a Sunday school, in Nairobi, Kenya this week

Crime scene: a policeman examines the damage after an explosive device devastated a Sunday school, in Nairobi, Kenya this week

CHURCH leaders in Kenya have urged people not to divide on religious lines after the latest in a series of terrorist attacks.

In the incident last Sunday, a nine-year-old boy was killed, and nine children were injured, when a grenade was thrown into a morning Sunday school at St Polycarp's, an Anglican church in Pangani, Nairobi. Police suspect the Somali group al-Shabab, which has links with al-Qaeda.

In a statement, the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya described it as an "act of cowardice".

The Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims, Adan Wachu, said that people should not immediately blame Muslims. "Terrorism and terrorists have no borders; it's cross-cutting, and we condemn them," he said. "As we address this issue, we need to be careful and not allow our emotions to overcome reason."

The General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, the Revd Dr Wellington Mutiso, also called on people not to be consumed by revenge.

"It is very easy for Christians or other people to target the Somalis," he said, "but we want to believe that the Somalis are good people, and that they have a right to be in this country like anyone else. We do need, however, to recognise that Kenya is at war with al-Shabab, and that there is a major cost to pay."

The Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, and the Bishop of Nairobi, the Rt Revd Joel Waweru Mwangi, visited and prayed with four of the six children being treated at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Later, in a statement, the Archbishop declared that Kenya was a multi-religious society. He went on: "I appeal to Christians not to feed violence with violence, either in word or deed, because we are called to overcome evil with good."

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