SRI LANKA CHURCHES BOMBED
On Easter Sunday 2019, more than 200 people were killed in bomb attacks at three churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. The Christian targets were the Roman Catholic churches of St. Sebastian, Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, and St Anthony’s Shrine, in Kochcikade, Colombo; and an evangelical church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province. Christians make up 7.6% of Sri Lanka’s population of around 22 million, while 70% are Buddhist.
Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Ranjith:
‘It is a very sad day for all of us. I wish to express my deepest sorrow and sympathy to all those innocent families that have lost someone and also to those who have been injured and rendered debilitated. I would like to call upon all to pray that all those injured will be haled soon and that all those who have lost someone be consoled. I condemn to the utmost of my capacity this act that has caused so much death and suffering to the people. I also like to ask the government to hold an impartial and strong inquiry to find out who is behind this act and also to punish them mercilessly because only animals can behave like that’
Pope Francis, at the Vatican delivering Easter Sunday “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world):
‘I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka. I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence. I entrust to the Lord those who have tragically died and I pray for the wounded and for all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.’
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby:
‘Those affected by the appalling and despicable attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka will be in the prayers of millions marking Easter Sunday around the world today. On this holy day, let us stand with the people of Sri Lanka in prayer, condolence and solidarity as we reject all violence, all hatred and all division.’