Religion

Oregon Shooter May Not Have Targeted Christians

| by Michael Allen
Anastasia BoyanAnastasia Boyan

The hashtag #YesImAChristian has been gaining traction on social media sites since the mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, on Oct. 1.

Some reports have claimed that the shooter, Chris Harper-Mercer specifically targeted Christians to kill in a Umpqua Community College classroom.

Stacy Boylan, whose daughter Anastasia Boylan (pictured) was wounded in the attack, told CNN that Anastasia said that Harper-Mercer asked people their faith and targeted Christians.

Anastasia's grandmother Janet Willis made a similar claim to the Associated Press.

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Rev. Franklin Graham claimed on his Facebook page on Oct. 2 that the shooting was an example of Christian persecution in the U.S.

Pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie wrote on The Christian Post this week: "Yes, just as surely as there is a God in Heaven, there is a devil, who I believe is behind this persecution against followers of Jesus."

However, Anastasia did not use the word "Christian" during an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Oct. 5, reports The Register-Guard.

“He had us get up, one by one, and asked us what our religions were," Anastasia stated. "The shooter said that he would only feel pain for a couple of seconds, and that he would be with God soon. And then he shot him.”

Kortney Moore, one of the student survivors, told NRToday that the shooter asked people their religion; Moore made no mention of Christians being singled out.

Stephanie Salas, the mother of Rand McGowan, one of the students in the classroom, told The Oregonian her son's version of the shooting:

The shooter would call a person: "You, stand up." And then he would ask them if they were a Christian, knew God, or had religion. And it wasn't like it was stated on TV. It wasn't about that he was just trying to pinpoint Christians, no.

An unidentified source told ABC News that Harper-Mercer gave an unidentified individual some papers and a flash drive that contained hate-filled writings against black men, his sexual frustrations and lack of personal accomplishments.

Sources: ABC News, Facebook, The Christian Post, CNN, NRToday, Associated Press via Sacramento Bee, The Oregonian, The Register-Guard / Photo Credit: ABC News Screenshot