The National Council of Churches expresses grief and lament over the horrific attacks against Christians in Sri Lanka as worshipers gathered for Easter Sunday celebrations on April 21, 2019, turning this joyous day into one of mourning and chaos. 290 people were killed and more than 500 were injured.
Upon hearing the news, NCC President and General Secretary Jim Winkler reached out to Rev. Ebenezer Joseph, General Secretary of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka with expressions of sorrow, solidarity, and prayer.
Violence against religious minorities has a long history in Sri Lanka. We pray these attacks will not result in a renewed cycle of violence and we express our hope that intensified interreligious engagement and cooperation may result from these attacks.
We also note that in the past six months, the three Abrahamic faiths have suffered violence: in late October, at the Tree of Life Synagogue; weeks ago, mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and now these churches in Sri Lanka.
In spite of these terrible crimes, Christ’s resurrection, celebrated across the world, gives us the comfort of knowing that light penetrates the darkness, love prevails against hate, and life defeats the power of death. We pray for the families of these martyrs, those who love them, and for those who seek to live lives of peace in Sri Lanka today.