The Easter martyrs in Sri Lanka

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The Easter martyrs in Sri Lanka

By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader

Terrorism has chosen moments of holiness, joy, and the gathering of small families with the extended families in the church to celebrate Easter. Evil had concocted plans that were not in mind. This abhorrent party was not satisfied with its ruthless reputation that is hated by the entire world, so it wanted to aggravate its ugliness by committing a greater, more despicable and demonic act represented by turning churches into theaters of war, crime and bloodshed, as well as turning joy into funerals roaming the streets of the friendly country, Sri Lanka.

We, in Jordan, are familiar how the arm of evil can turn joy into sorrow. Terrorism struck the hotels of Amman in 2006, and turned a wedding, joy, dancing and singing into crying, wailing and overwhelming popular wrath. We, in Jordan, also know what role the brethren from Sri Lanka play in our homes and workplaces. They stay in hospitals and homes spending time by the sick and the elderly trying to comfort them as well as to offer them dignity and respect. We also have a Christian Sri Lankan community whom their bishops visited in the past years, sharing with them the joy and faith stemming from their country.

From this premise, His Majesty King Abdullah II Ben Al-Hussein, may God protect him, was one of the leading leaders to condemn this abhorrent terrorism and convey his condolences to the friendly state of Sri Lanka as well as to the families of martyrs and the wounded. The Jordanian government, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan, the Iftaa Department and a large number of institutions and personnel followed the same example.

What happened is a shameful, inhumane, and ignoble act. As the world condemned the attack on worshipers in New Zealand's mosques a few weeks ago, it deplores and condemns the attacks on worshipers in the holiest day of the churches of Sri Lanka. Yes, the world is in unison in condemnation and denunciation of all acts of terrorism including their promoters, supporters, financiers and sympathizers. It is incumbent to assert zero tolerance with any human being whose impaired conscience gives way to verbally supporting the flagrant savagery of terrorism, especially when it is aimed at places of worship, or against the worshippers. Any extremist organization, a criminal organization, or a lone terrorist are a source of indignation and denunciation by the extended human family. Pope Francis said on Easter day: "I also hope that everybody will condemn these acts of unjustified terrorism and brutality.”

They are definitely unjustified acts because they are of no benefit s to anyone. Nobody would enrich humanity with these new inventions and brutal ways, nor can anyone find a solution at the moment or a way for humanity to extricate itself from these narrow, dark, unjust and brutal tunnels. But there is unanimity on the influence of sound breeding and religious education that upholds genuine love for God and every human being upon eradicating Satanic forces and aggressive tendencies.

O humanity that expresses solidarity with the victims of New Zealand's mosques and the churches of Sri Lanka, show us how to work hand-in-hand to bring people back to their humanity.

May God have mercy on the martyrs of Easter and comfort the bereft people of Sri Lanka.

abouna.org@gmail.com

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