A reflection by Rt Rev Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey, the Bishop of Diocese of Colombo
“Over the past several days I have reflected prayerfully on what happened in three Christian churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa and also in some of our city hotels on Easter Sunday. lt is sad that humans have arrogated to themselves the right to commit mass murder in the name of God Almighty the giver of Life, also injuring, and maiming many for life. Life belongs to God and no one has the right except God to take one’s life away, Jesus Christ our Lord fought against the dark forces of death on the Cross, died and rose again empowering us with his Resurrection Power. This is the resilience of the Christian community. We cannot and must not act on the basis of “an eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth” but we will follow the Master’s example and cry the same cry He cried on the cross with so much of sadness and heaviness of heart saying-“Father, Forgive them for they do not know what they do”.
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Joint Statement by the Bishops of Colombo and Kurunagala of the Church of Ceylon on Easter Sunday
We are terribly shocked and deeply saddened by the barbarous acts of violence brought on innocent worshippers, children, women and men at Easter Sunday services at St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade, St. Sebastien’s Church, Negombo and Zion Church, Batticaloa., as well as on several hotels in Colombo targeting visitors to our country.
The Church of Ceylon unreservedly condemns these cowardly and cruel acts of terrorism and we offer our deep condolences to the families and friends of the over one hundred persons who have lost their lives and those who have been hurt. We wish all those who have been injured full recovery. We pray for them and their families that God’s comforting presence will continue to be with them through this tragic experience.
We call on the government to institute quick action to investigate thoroughly these incidents and to bring the perpetrators to justice., to ensure the safety of places of religious worship and to prevent any individuals or group taking the law into their hands or provoking acts of intimidation or violence against any community or group.
We call on all Sri Lankans to be mindful at this time and to act with patience and understanding. We ask for the continued support of all security and emergency services in ensuring public peace and in providing care for the affected the motives of those twisted and warped minds who planned and executed such appalling acts could very well be to destabilize the country and to cause damage to the unity and harmony of our nation.
We pray that these persons, whoever they may be, will be awakened to the awfulness of their crime.
We pray we will be able to journey through this dark phase of our country. May the Peace of the Risen Christ who on the cross prayed for forgiveness be with you all.
Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj Canagasabey
Bishop of Colombo
Rt. Revd. Keerthisiri Fernando
Bishop of Kurunegala