Christians condemn attack on Churches in SL, candle light vigil in Diphu

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HT Bureau

DIPHU/SHILLONG, April 22: While showing solidarity with the bereaved members, who have lost their lives in serial explosions in Colombo on Sunday, the Christian community of Diphu under the banner of United Christian Forum (UCF) took out a candle light vigil infront of Semon Sing Engti Memorial Park, here on Monday evening.

A string of eight devastating blasts, including suicide attacks, struck churches and luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 290 people, including three Indians, and shattering a decade of peace in the island nation since the end of the brutal civil war with the LTTE.

Irrespective of denomination, the believers including priests, Church elders came together and lighted candles in memory of the departed soul. UCF chairman and Pastor of West Diphu Town Baptist Church, Athang said, “We have come together here under the banner of UCF to share the sadness of those families, whose members have lost their lives in the serial blast in Colombo yesterday. We pray for eternal peace of the souls. There are participants from Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church, Baptist Church, Believers Church and others. We have all come together to pray for souls of those who died in the blast.”

Meanwhile, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of India has strongly condemned the attack on churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Condemning the attack, in a statement issued by Rev GS Lyttan, senior administrative secretary, Presbyterian Church of India, Shillong (Meghalaya), said, “we strongly condemn such acts to occur not only In Sri Lanka but anywhere in the world and instead, unitedly work for peace and harmony. The Presbyterian Church of India (PCI) has come to learn about the bomb blasts which took place this morning around 08:45 A.M (Colombo Time) in Sri Lanka. Colombo and its suburbs targeting Hotels and Churches while having their Easter Worship Services whereby more than 180 precious human lives were killed and 600 critically injured,” the statement reads.

The statement further reads: “Today, being Easter Sunday in which Christians all over the world celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ more than 2000 years ago and yet, allegedly suicide bombers had planned and carried out their dastardly attacks to disturb peace and tranquility, cut short lives of innocents and revive suspicion and distrust.”

Conveying heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the bereaved, the Presbyterian Church of India also prayed to the Almighty for comfort and strength as well, healing and recovery to the injured.

“We empathize with all who suffered from this physical, mental and spiritual trauma. We urge upon the Sri Lankan Government to do its very best to stop further heinous and dastardly acts and that it should not escalate and spread like a contagious disease,” it added.

As per media reports, a series of eight bombings in Sri Lanka targeting Christian churches and hotels in three cities including Colombo killed at least 207 people and wounded up to 450 others on Easter Sunday. Sri Lankan defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene described the coordinated blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.

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