New Martyrs in Sri Lanka

The brutal murder of Christians celebrating the Western Easter in three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district has shocked the world, as did the simultaneous killings of nearby tourists. The persecution of Christians across the globe is an increasingly evil occurrence and reveals the growing power of Satan in these days. During the celebration of the Palm Sunday Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Church in Bournemouth, Abba Seraphim offered special prayers for the new martyrs, the wounded and their families & friends. He also recalled that Colombo was the area where the saintly Mar Julius Alvares (1836-1923) ministered and Archbishop Mar Timotheos Vilatte (1854-1929) was consecrated as a bishop in 1892.

The Sri Lankan government believes that this terror attack was internationally organised and has appealed for help from foreign governments, but last year it declared a State of Emergency following attacks by local Buddhists on mosques and Muslims. Lack of respect and intolerance towards the peaceful religious convictions of others, breeds hatred and enmity which kindle murder and cruelty. Satan harnesses human weakness in the promotion of evil, but Christian teaching on the power of prayer, forgiveness and love will overcome the assaults of the evil one, rather than returning evil for evil.