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 Sri Lanka Evangelical Alliance calls upon the public to “refrain from engaging in hateful discourse, turn away from violence and work towards de-escalating tensions in our country”.
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) expressed this week its “deep concern over the recent escalation of tensions in Sri Lanka and the violence targeting Muslim communities”.
Bp Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA, said: “After the tragic and senseless bombings targeting Christians on Easter Sunday, we are grieved to hear of further attacks, this time against Muslims. As followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we unequivocally condemn any violence whether against Christians, Muslims or any other group of people of different or no faith.”
“We call on Christians around the world to join us in prayer for the people of Sri Lanka as they process the tragic loss of life and the continuing physical and emotional suffering after the attacks”, the WEA added in a statement. “May Christ-like forgiveness and reconciliation overcome any tensions and bring lasting peace to the nation”.
SRI LANKA EVANGELICALS: RESTRAINT AND FORGIVENESS
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance in Sri Lanka, the evangelical body in the country, had said they were “deeply saddened by the ongoing attacks on Muslim communities in Kurunegala, Gampaha, and the Puttalam districts. The violent mob attacks targeting mosques, Muslim owned-businesses and homes have left our country in a state of shock and polarized communities further”.
“We are extremely troubled that some of the incidents were reportedly perpetrated by mobs during police curfew. We call upon the government, therefore, to carry out a thorough investigation into the attacks”.
The NCEAL added: “Following the Easter Sunday attacks, the leadership of the Catholic and Evangelical Christian community called for restraint and compassion, extending even forgiveness to the perpetrators of the attacks. Echoing these sentiments, the NCEASL calls upon the public now to refrain from engaging in hateful discourse, turn away from violence and work towards de-escalating tensions in our country”.
Evangelicals in Sri Lanka call to “transcend hate, fear and suspicion toward one another and make every effort in compassion and love to understand, reconcile, and move forward together as one nation”.
“Let us especially consider those feeling vulnerable, afraid, and marginalized during this time, extending to them our solidarity and support in the aftermath of these senseless acts of violence”. The NCEAL closed the statement with a Bible verse: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. Proverbs 14:34”.