On the morning of Easter Sunday, April 21, simultaneous explosions in Sri Lanka targeted the country’s minority Christian community as well as luxury hotels around Colombo. At least 200 people were killed and more than 400 injured in the terrorist attacks.
Bishop Jaime Soto has released the following statement:
"I ask that you join me in praying for our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka who suffered a vicious, deadly attack on Churches and other locations in the country of Sri Lanka. These attacks came as multitudes of worshippers gathered to celebrate the Easter Feast. Their faith as well as ours is tested by an evil darkness that loathes the light of Christ. We are reminded of those first disciples gathered in fear behind closed doors. The Risen Lord came to them proclaiming, 'Peace be with you.' May the divine exhortation of the Risen Christ bring comfort and resilience to those who are still surrounded by violent threats. His gift of peace is also a command to us. May His peace, of which the world does not know, strengthen us to be His messengers in these turbulent times."
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement:
“This morning in Sri Lanka a coordinated series of bombings killed hundreds of worshipers in Catholic Churches and others of all faiths in nearby hotels. The Churches were St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa. This great evil targeted these churches as they were packed full of worshipers who were celebrating Easter, the day in which Christians around the world celebrate the rising of the King of Peace from the dead. We offer our prayers for the victims and their families. And we join with all people of good will in condemning these acts of terrorism. This evil cannot overcome the hope found in our Savior’s Resurrection. May the God of hope who has raised his Son, fill all hearts with the desire for peace.”
In photo above, ambulances are seen outside the church premises with gathered people and security personnel following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, Colombo on April 21, 2019. Credit: ISHARA S. K (Photo courtesy of Catholic News Agency)