Grief a call to coexistence, Grief not a call to retribution, How to face persecution, No Retribution, No Revenge, Sri Lanka Easter Massacre, The place of forgiveness in our times, The place of violence in our times
Rather than a call to revenge, Christian leaders urged fellow Sri Lankans to remember the country’s civil war, which only ended a decade ago. In taking responsibility for past ambivalence or potential future aggression, they confess:
In looking back at our tragic past, we also confront our own ambivalence to our attitude to violence and aggression towards our so-called enemies.
“After bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday killed 253 people, several Christians in the country have made it clear that they condemn any attempt to politicize the tragedy or seek revenge against Muslims.
Sri Lankan authorities say an Islamist extremist group carried out the attacks, with potential outside help. The Islamic State group has also claimed responsibility, but the extent of its involvement is still unclear.
In a joint statement published in the local Daily Mirror earlier this week, leaders from Methodist, Catholic and Anglican churches urged citizens to stand for peace and refused to blame any particular faith group.”
A Good and Clear a Christ-like Response:
Easter is celebrated as a day of hope, life and end to violence. But this Easter day has been marred by violence and death on a large scale. We categorically condemn the brutal Easter Sunday attacks on churches and hotels around Sri Lanka. We convey our deepest sympathies and stand in solidarity with the families that have lost their loved ones, those injured and all those who have been traumatized and made distraught by the attacks.
Even as we mourn those killed on Easter Sunday, we remember all those who were lost during the war that ended ten years ago. In looking back at our tragic past, we also confront our own ambivalence to our attitude to violence and aggression towards our so-called enemies. Never again should we waver in rejecting the violence of any actor that takes innocent lives.
In condemning the Easter Sunday attacks, we resolve to put ‘life’ before any agenda. We appeal to all our fellow citizens to stand for a life for all communities that are free from fear, repression and violence. We will never place any responsibility on our brothers and sisters of any community for the dastardly and cruel acts of a few.
We must reject all those who seek social, economic, religious and political gain from this tragedy. We call for patience and peace as the truth about these heinous crimes emerges and justice is served. We demand measures to ensure the protection of vulnerable communities so that there are no riots or acts of violence against any particular community.
Our grief is never a call for retribution. Our grief is a call for coexistence.
1.Ven. Fr. Samuel J. Ponniah Archdeacon of Jaffna, Church of Ceylon (Anglican Church)
2.Very Rev. Fr. P. J. Jebaratnam Vicar General Catholic Church
3. Rev. Dr. K.J. Arulrajah Superintendent Minister – Methodist Church
4. Rev. J.E. Jeyaseelan Roman Catholic Church
5. Rev. Dr. Vincent Patrick, OMI Catholic Church