In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.
08/13/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – It is rare when an act of Christian persecution receives international attention. But on that day, even the West turned its head toward Sri Lanka. The whole world grieved with Sri Lanka. Eventually, the death count rose to over 250 people, claiming victims both poor and rich, native and foreign, Christian and not. One hundred and eighty Christians died in total.
In the weeks that followed, anti-Muslim violence broke out across Sri Lanka; mobs targeted Muslim homes, businesses, and mosques in the outrage that followed.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks days later, and Sri Lankan officials stated that at least one local Islamist group was involved. Christians were ordered by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Sri Lanka’s most senior Catholic leader, to stay away from their churches until they knew that they would be safe.
Months after the vicious terrorist attack, Sri Lanka’s Christian community is still reeling. In a video posted to Facebook, Pastor Roshan Mahesan, head pastor of Zion Church, said, “We are hurt. We are angry. The whole congregation and every family [was] affected.”
But despite the pain, Sri Lanka’s Christians have openly offered love and forgiveness to their persecutors.
“We say to the suicide bomber and also to the group that sent the suicide bomber that we love you and we forgive you. We, who follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, say for the Lord to forgive these people,” said Pastor Roshan. This gracious response stands out against the dark backdrop of Islamic hatred in Sri Lanka.
Please continue to pray for those injured in the attacks and those who lost loved ones. Pray for the restoration of St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s Church in Colombo, and Zion Church in Batticaloa. Pray that Christians in Sri Lanka will be protected from further attacks.
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