Pope Francis prayed for persecuted Christians a day after Islamist militants attacked a university in Kenya, killing scores of people, as Good Friday was commemorated around the world. "We see in [Jesus] our persecuted brothers, beheaded and crucified because of their faith … before our eyes or often with our complicit silence," he said after a Way of the Cross procession at Rome's ancient Colosseum. Besides the killings in Kenya, which he called "senseless brutality," Francis mentioned the beheading of 22 Egyptian Coptic Christians last February by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant militants. On Good Friday, Christians mark the death of Jesus Christ and prepare to end the season of Lent with Easter Sunday celebrations. Jewish families began the eight-day Passover holiday on Friday at sundown. Passover is American Jews' most observed religious ritual.

News services