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Solidarity and prayers over Westgate tragedy in Kenya

Solidarity message to the WCC member churches in Kenya following the massacre that took place at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi beginning 21 September 2013.

01 October 2013

Solidarity message to the WCC member churches in Kenya following the massacre that took place at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi beginning 21 September 2013

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

One week ago, you and the people of Kenya experienced a tragic incident, with deplorable and barbaric acts of violence targeted against innocent people at the Westgate Mall near Nairobi. It is with profound sadness that we followed the events in the news during the past week and prayed for all who were involved.

Together with you, I and the whole ecumenical family condemn these acts of violence. It is tragic that innocent civilians, particularly women and children, are held hostage by extremist groups and became targets of such violence.

We mourn the lives taken and pray for the healing of those who were wounded. We recognize and acknowledge the courage of those civilians who at great risk saved the lives of many. We are grateful that the Kenyan government was able to bring an end to the standoff and will bring the perpetrators of the massacre to justice and ensure security and peace with justice for all Kenyans.

I take this opportunity to extend our sincere condolences to the families of those who have been killed and express our sympathy to all who are suffering from the after-effects of these traumatic experiences. We shall continue to pray for peace among all citizens of Kenya.

We are reminded of our call to seek justice and righteousness; it is imperative for strengthening our faith.  This call demands our concern for all those who are deprived of their inherent and inalienable rights and dignity, of fullness of life and equal justice.

May the God of Life continue to strengthen you to "seek peace and pursue it" (Psalm 34:14).

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary