At least eight Adventists were among the 28 bus passengers massacred by Muslim extremists in northern Kenya on Sabbath morning, Nov. 22.
Al-Shabaab militants stopped the Nairobi-bound vehicle and quizzed passengers to determine whether they were Muslims. Eyewitnesses said those who answered unsatisfactorily were taken aside and shot.
“They asked how many times I pray in a day, asked me to recite a Quran verse and also greeted one in Islamic,” a survivor told Daily Nation. “If one failed to answer these questions, then you’d be asked to lie on a muddy patch of the road facing down.”
Representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s East Central Africa Division confirmed that at least eight Adventists were killed in the massacre.
The death toll could rise. The Standard reported that an Adventist church in Mandera lost more than half of its congregation.
“We lost 10 members,” church pastor David Matheka told the newspaper.
It’s likely that the Adventists on the early morning bus were on their way to church at the time of the attack.
The 59-passenger bus was also carrying a number of teachers and health workers who were heading home for Christmas vacation, CNSnews.com reported.
The Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for the massacre. In a statement, it called the Christian victims “crusaders” and said the attack was in response to police raids conducted last week on mosques in majority Muslim Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city.