The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
The Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka asks the government “to take all steps necessary to arrest the situation swiftly”. The WEA also calls churches around the world to join in prayer.
Sri Lanka remains shocked after the attacks that killed more than 310 people in three churches and three hotels in the country.
Forty people have been already arrested in connection with the attacks, and the authorities has blamed the blasts on local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ).
The first memorial services for victims have taken place this Tuesday, at St Sebastian’s church in Negombo. Earlier, the country has observed three minutes of silence, while a state of emergency is in effect to prevent further attacks.
NCEASL: “REMAIN CALM AND REFRAIN FROM BEING MISLED”
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) “is deeply distressed and deplores the Easter Sunday explosions targeting the St. Anthony’s Church, St. Sebastian's Church, Zion Church, and three leading hotels”.
In a statement, the NCEASL “calls on the general public, and especially the Christian community in the country to remain calm and refrain from being misled by rumours during this time of crisis”.
Furthermore, it also asked the government and security forces “to take all steps necessary to arrest the situation swiftly and bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice”.
A CALL TO PRAY
“While offering our prayers and support to all those affected, the NCEASL calls on the national and global church to pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones and those injured in these unfortunate series of attacks”, they said.
The statement concluded encouraging all to “be patient in trouble, and keep on praying”, as it reads in Romans 12:12.
WEA: “CALLS ON CHURCHES AROUND THE WORLD TO JOIN IN PRAYER”
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) was also “deeply saddened and troubled by the news of the targeted attacks on worshippers and other innocent people on Easter Sunday”.
“As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we now also mourn the loss of lives due to this heartless violence”, Efraim Tendero, WEA Secretary General and CEO, said after the attacks.
The WEA “calls on churches around the world to join us in prayer for those affected, and that God’s strong and comforting presence may be with them in this tragedy. May God help them to hold onto the faith of the resurrection and experience the peace that transcends all understanding”.
JUSTIN WELBY: “SHOW HOW TO LIVE RESURRECTION LIFE”
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby condemned the attacks during his Easter sermon.
“The will to power leads to the murder of innocents in Sri Lanka, the utterly despicable destruction that, on this holiest of days, seeks to challenge the reality of the risen Christ, to say that darkness will conquer, that our choice is surrender or death”.
However, “Christians must show how to live resurrection life; that the rest of the world may see above all in forgiving one another and loving one another, making visible what is unseen;but witness begins with the individual meeting the risen Christ”, he concluded.