Adventist Church leaders respond to Sri Lanka tragedy

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Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders from around the world have expressed their condolences following recent attacks in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

More than 300 people are reported killed and more than 450 injured after bombs exploded in four luxury hotels and three churches across the city. Police have confirmed around 40 suspects have been arrested in the connection with the attacks, although no individual group has claimed responsibility.

“I am sickened each time I see the devastation of the churches in Sri Lanka and hear the tearful stories of survivors,” said South Pacific Division president Pastor Glenn Townend. “Attacking innocent people who are worshipping Jesus and remembering His resurrection is a despicable crime against all humanity. We must stop such religious hate violence. Thank God that we have the hope of a resurrected Jesus who conquered death for all people, and that God loves and comforts all who mourn.”

On behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide, General Conference president Dr Ted Wilson released an official statement of condolence.

“Our hearts go out to the grieving families of those killed in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in a terrible, senseless tragedy of killing,” said Dr Wilson. “Churches and other areas were targeted. Let us pray for the families and for the Prince of Peace to reign in the hearts of all including those who perpetrate such horrific acts. They need the grace and love of God in their hearts to bring them to Christ and His forgiveness. Soon Jesus will come to take us to heaven where there will be no more pain, suffering or death.”

Church leaders from the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, the region of the world Sri Lanka is part of, also released a statement of sympathy.

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Southern Asia-Pacific expresses its deepest sympathies to the families and friends troubled by the horrifying incident in Colombo. While the number of casualties continue to rise, our hearts and prayers go out to the families who lost their love ones, and to the foreign victims from eight nationalities whose lives were taken by this indiscriminate act of terror.

“We are all God’s children, and in these moments, our unity and compassion are needed more than ever. We are one with those who grieve. As a church we reject any form of ferocity. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Sri Lanka as we invite everyone around the world to continue praying for the families whose hearts are broken. As they continue to mourn for their loss, let’s pray for healing and recovery.

“As sons and daughters of Christ, it is our commission to be an avenue of hope and love to everyone amidst diversity specially in moments of tragedy.”