|‘National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri LankaSix explosions were reported on the morning of Easter Sunday targeting three churches and three five-star hotels in Sri Lanka. St Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade, St Sebastian’s Church, Negambo, Zion Church in Batticaloa, as well as Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo were the targets in a number of bombings, the first of which is reported to have taken place at approximately 08:30 a.m. The explosions targeted Easter Sunday worship services and Easter breakfast buffets organised by hotels. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of the Catholic Church, announced that all evening services in Catholic churches in the Colombo district had been cancelled.Media reports state that 185 people have been killed and 469 injured following the attacks. Seventy-two casualties have been reported from Negambo, the highest number of casualties reported thus far. Eleven foreign nationals are also reportedly among the dead. The death toll as at 01:33 is as follows:No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks thus far, and security and intelligence services are yet to issue a statement on who is suspected to be responsible for the attacks. Security around the capital and the Bandaranaike International Airport has been increased following the blasts.The Ministry of Education has declared all government schools closed tomorrow and the day after (22nd and 23rd April). The Prime Minister has convened an emergency meeting at the Ministry of Defence. The government and the media continuously implored the public to refrain from sharing unverified and unconfirmed information via social media platforms, and to remain indoors. The crisis is currently unfolding, and information continues to roll in.Sources:https://www.newsfirst.lk/2019/04/21/explosion-at-the-st-anthonys-church-in- kochikade/https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/multiple-blasts-hit-sri-lanka-churches-hotels- easter-sunday-190421050357452.htmlhttps://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/world/asia/sri-lanka-bombings.htmlhttp://www.dailymirror.lk/top_story/Explosions-in-Kochchikade–Katuwapitiya-and- Colombo/155-165645https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48001720 • National Hospital: 46 dead, 259 injured• Kalubowila Hospital: 17 injured• Negombo Hospital: 74 Dead, 113 injured• Katana Church: 31 Dead• Ragama Hospital: 7 Dead, 30 injured• Batticaloa: 27 dead, 80 injured (a source for the NCEASL reported 38 casualties inBatticaloa) At approximately 02:00 p.m., yet another explosion was reported at an inn in Dehiwala. Details and motivations surrounding this incident remain unclear. Two victims were admitted to the Kalubowila Hospital and subsequently succumbed to their injuries. Police confirmed another explosion in Dematagoda also at around 02:40 p.m. Details are yet to surface.|
Statement on Easter Sunday Explosions in Sri Lanka
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) is deeply distressed and deplores the Easter Sunday (21 April) explosions targeting the St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, St. Sebastian’s Church in Katana, Zion Church in Batticaloa, and three leading hotels in Colombo. The incidents in Colombo and Batticaloa, according to media reports, have left over 180 dead and several others injured. Moreover, explosions elsewhere in Dehiwela and Dematagoda left five dead, including three police officers.
The NCEASL calls on the general public and especially the Christian community in the country to remain calm and refrain from being misled by rumours during this time of crisis.
The NCEASL also calls on the government and security forces to take all steps necessary to arrest the situation swiftly and bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.
Finally, while offering our prayers and support to all those affected, the NCEASL calls on the national and global Church to pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones and those injured in these unfortunate series of attacks.
“…Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying” Romans 12:12.