ASIA/PAKISTAN - Catholic Bishops’ shows solidarity to the Sri Lankans after the horrific attacks

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of Catholic Bishops Conference of Pakistan has strongly condemns these horrific and deadly attacks on people of Sri Lanka held on Easter Sunday and expresses deep sadness on the loss of precious and innocent lives.

In a joint statement His Excellency Archbishop Dr. Joseph Arshad, Chairperson NCJP, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf National Director and Mr. Cecil Shane Chaudhry Executive Director stated that this attack is evidence of a rising tide of extremism and radicalization all over the world. Therefore governments across the world need to improve security measures specifically for worship places.

The President of Pakistan Catholic Bishops' Conference and Chairperson of NCJP, His Excellency Archbishop Dr. Joseph Arshad strongly condemned this inhuman act on Easter day and also prayed for the souls of the deceased and their families, and offered his condolences to those affected. He especially prayed for the speedy recovery of injured.

Archbishop Joseph Arshad said: “the entire Christian Community and Church in Pakistan are deeply saddened by this horrific act. While we pray for the souls of the departed, we ask the Lord to give strength to the wounded and the grieved families. And the perpetrators of this heinous act be brought to justice.”

“It is very saddening and heartbreaking that this Easter terrorists attacked various churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. I condemn these horrific attacks that killed more than 300 and around 500 are injured,” this is what Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw said while addressing the gathering held in Sacred Heart Cathedral of Lahore in this week.

“We have called a gathering to pray for the victims of these horrific attacks, we especially invited our Sri Lankan friends serving in Pakistan to show them our solidarity and unity and we appreciate the good works of our Sri Lankan Priests, Religious Men and Women and Lay people serving and served in Pakistan especially in field of education,” Archbishop Sebastian F. Shaw informed fides.

He adds: “We assured them that we are with the people of Sri Lanka at this time of suffering, and special prayers are held for the people passed away in this terrible incident, we lit candles in their memory and presented flowers to our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters to show them our love, concern and unity.”

Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw also led a peaceful demonstration and Press Conference on Easter Tuesday with His Muslim friends to show solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. The school Children from Catholic Schools and Islamic Schools also joined the peaceful demonstration holding the posters containing the messages to show solidarity with the people affected due to the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

‘we pray for Sri Lanka’, ‘Peace is caring, violence is depressing’, No to Terrorism – Yes to Peace’, ‘we want peace’, ‘accept, love and respect others to promote peace’, ‘Lord! Make me a channel of your peace’ were some of the slogans written of the posters hold by the students in the peaceful demonstration held during the gathering.

Archbishop Sebastian Shaw further said: “I am receiving the pictures and videos of the attacks, and I am very much depressed looking at the pictures of the Children died during the attacks they are dressed in white during their funeral, they have recently received their first Holy Communion on Holy Thursday.” He adds: “We are sad and show our solidarity to our brothers and sister, but we will not tolerate these acts of terrorism, the World has to get in unity to battle against these satanic powers to make our World a peaceful place.”

Bishop Samson Shukardin OFM of Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad prayed for the victims of these suicide bombings during the Easter Mass on Sunday morning. He also prayed for the recovery of the people injured. Speaking to the Fides Bishop said: “It is very much saddening for the whole of humanity, the terrorists are doing their things freely and they are killing people. None of the religions teaches this and none of the terrorists are following any of the religions.” He adds: “I think they have their personal hidden agendas, I encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to provide proper security to the religious places for the protection of their innocent people.”
(AG) (Agenzia Fides 25/4/2019)