Christian Missionaries Condemn Sri Lankan Massacre as ‘Shocking in Its Cruelty’

Easter suicide bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka targeted Christians and left at least 290 people dead. Screen capture from CBS News.

Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that targeted Christians and killed at least 290 people have prompted calls to prayer by Southern Baptists who work to take the Gospel to South Asian people groups.

“As we process the news of attacks on Easter services today in Sri Lanka, our hearts are grieved,” the Southern Baptist workers said as a group in written comments. “We weep with those who weep … As we reflect on the living hope we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3), let us not forget to stay armed for the battle and continuing incessantly in prayer. Let us run this race hard with our brothers and sisters in Christ and intercede for one another and for the lost.”

The Sri Lankan government accused a local militant Islamist group, the National Thowheed Jamaath, of carrying out nine April 22 bombings, according to media reports. The government also said a foreign network likely was involved in the attacks. Intelligence in the government’s possession before the bombings allegedly indicated Thowheed Jamaath was planning attacks against churches and hotels.

More than a third of those reported dead were killed in nearly simultaneous suicide bombings at three Roman Catholic churches in the region of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital and largest city. The blasts occurred between 8:45 and 9:30 a.m. local time, The Washington Post reported.

Three hotels were hit by suicide bombers at the same time, the Associated Press reported. Three other sites also were bombed.

In addition to the dead, at least 500 others were injured. Police have arrested 21 people in connection with the bombings, according to The Post. Three police officers were killed as they raided a suspect’s house.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted, “The governing authorities must bring this anti-Christian terrorist cell, and any who empowered them, to justice. The shedding of innocent human blood is always an atrocity; an attack on Easter is further shocking in its cruelty.”

The attacks came amid what persecution watchdog Morning Star News called “persistent” “violence and harassment against Christians” in Sri Lanka, an island nation southeast of India and about the size of West Virginia.

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Source: Baptist Press