Al-Shabaab militants are attacking Christians in the North Eastern Province in Kenya.
“It is because of Al-Shabaab that I moved out of Garissa,” Esther, a Christian, told CNN. “You can be shot anytime while you are walking. Even when we’re at home they can just come from the bush.”
At Sunday mass in Garissa’s Cathedral, called Our Lady of Consolation, worshipers gather to pray under armed guard. It’s a dangerous place to be.
“It’s not a matter of choice,” said Maltese priest Joseph Alessandro, the bishop of Garissa. “It’s our duty to remain here. Since we are appointed as bishops, we have to stay — not withstanding what happens — till there are no Catholics, it’s our duty to stay.”
In April, hundreds of Garissa University students were attacked when Al-Shabaab militants stormed dorms at the university. Christian students and Muslim students were separated and 147 were killed. The university is now closed, but Alessandro said he hopes it will reopen.
“Now we are gaining confidence again — we have security on the compound for the school and even during the night for the sisters, for the priests.”
Sister Eveyln Ingoshe said she would continue to work in Garissa despite the attacks on Christians.
“I knew that there was a danger in coming to this place of the country for a non Muslim but I followed my heart and wanted to do it.”