Today, mass funerals are being held in Sri Lanka following bomb attacks on churches and hotels over the Easter weekend.
The death toll has now surpassed 300 and another 500 were wounded in the attacks, which appear to have been carried out by a number of suicide bombers. 31 foreign nationals were among the dead, including eight British nationals.
Responsibility for these atrocities has not yet been claimed, but the Sri Lankan government has blamed a local Islamist group and police have detained 40 suspects.
On the ground
We have been in touch with our partners in the country, who have expressed their shock at these events. Some opted to cancel evening services having preached safely in the morning, and one partner told us that “even during 30 years of war and two southern insurrections,
churches were not attacked”. He was preaching on Easter Sunday, and having heard of the attacks he decided to change his message:
“I changed my Easter message in the aftermath of the attacks and preached on how Christians can face up to persecution from the story of Stephen in Acts 7. We cannot and will not stop our work of teaching the Word of God to our people.”
Please stand with our partners in prayer for their nation and its people as they recover from this painful incident.
How to pray
- Pray for the families of those who have died to know the comfort of the Lord and the hope of eternal life in Christ
- Lift up the injured as they recover, and the medical staff caring for them
- Pray against the dissemination of false or inflammatory information
- Pray that this incident would be dealt with sensitively and not used for political point–scoring
- Ask God to strengthen travelling preachers, that they would continue their work boldly
- Pray for believers and churches to remain faithful and steadfast
- Lift up those who rely on tourism for their livelihoods, that they would not suffer as a result of these attacks, and for the country’s economy to remain strong for the sake of the vulnerable