New York, NY - May 14, 2019
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) expresses its deep concern over the recent escalation of tensions in Sri Lanka and the violence targeting Muslim communities.
Bp Efraim Tendero, Secretary General and CEO of the WEA, said: “After the tragic and senseless bombings targeting Christians on Easter Sunday, we are grieved to hear of further attacks, this time against Muslims. As followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we unequivocally condemn any violence whether against Christians, Muslims or any other group of people of different or no faith.”
“We continue to pray for healing in Sri Lanka and the restoration of peace, and we wish to express that we stand in solidarity with our national member body, the National Christian Evangelical Alliance in Sri Lanka (NCEASL), as well as the entire nation. We call on Christians around the world to join us in prayer for the people of Sri Lanka as they process the tragic loss of life and the continuing physical and emotional suffering after the attacks. May Christ-like forgiveness and reconciliation overcome any tensions and bring lasting peace to the nation,” he added.
The following is today’s statement by the NCEASL:
The NCEASL is deeply saddened by the ongoing attacks on Muslim communities in Kurunegala, Gampaha, and the Puttalam districts. The violent mob attacks targeting mosques, Muslim owned-businesses and homes have left our country in a state of shock and polarized communities further. The violence unleashed by extremist elements upon our own citizens is abhorrent, atrocious, and worthy of condemnation in the strongest possible manner by all peace-loving people of Sri Lanka.
We are extremely troubled that some of the incidents were reportedly perpetrated by mobs during police curfew. We call upon the government, therefore, to carry out a thorough investigation into the attacks. We also urge the police and the security forces to arrest the prevailing situation and bring all those responsible to justice. Further, we request the authorities to speedily compensate the losses suffered by these communities and take proactive action to prevent any further violence.
Following the Easter Sunday attacks, the leadership of the Catholic and Evangelical Christian community called for restraint and compassion, extending even forgiveness to the perpetrators of the attacks. Echoing these sentiments, the NCEASL calls upon the public now to refrain from engaging in hateful discourse, turn away from violence and work towards de-escalating tensions in our country.
Let us transcend hate, fear and suspicion toward one another and make every effort in compassion and love to understand, reconcile, and move forward together as one nation. Let us especially consider those feeling vulnerable, afraid, and marginalized during this time, extending to them our solidarity and support in the aftermath of these senseless acts of violence.
Finally, we call upon the National Church to pray for wisdom for our leaders and peace and calm in our nation as we navigate through these troubled times.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. Proverbs 14:34.
> WEA Religious Liberty Research & Analysis Report: Securing the Future of Sri Lanka's Christians Following the Easter Attacks
> Leader of Bombed Evangelical Church in Sri Lanka Offers Forgiveness to Attackers
> WEA Condemns Coward Bombings, Mourns Lives Lost in Easter Sunday Attacks in Sri Lanka
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to establish and strengthen regional and national Evangelical Alliances, who in turn enable their national Church to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and community transformation for the glory of God. For more info, e-mail [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.