THE horrific attack upon Christians and tourists in Sri Lanka reminds us once again about the shocking persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Kathy discussed the BBC’s refusal to report the story properly, whatever their reason, here. While other news organisations were reporting a previous warning of Islamist suicide attacks on churches, the BBC chose to ignore the angle.
Yesterday the Times told about the horror that continues in Sri Lanka, where a slide show of bodies is projected on a screen inside Colombo’s mortuary to enable identification of the dead.
It described a husband preparing to bury his wife and three children. ‘Whole families in Negombo were wiped out by the blast. The streets were lined with the white flags of mourning yesterday and almost every other home was preparing for a funeral. Two adjoining houses near the church lost seven family members between them. Susantha Surendra stood in the doorway of the first, greeting each of the hundreds of mourners with impeccable, numbed politeness. Behind him, in the front room, were laid the bodies of his wife and three children, aged 14, nine and six. Hands bound loosely with rosary beads, they were sheathed in white.’
We have also seen CCTV footage of a suspected suicide bomber entering St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, patting a child on the head, moments before an explosion ripped through the building.
The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said at least 110 people were killed at St Sebastian’s, the deadliest of a series of attacks against churches and luxury hotels that killed at least 310 people.
The thought that these families went to Easter Mass to celebrate the resurrection of Christ and never returned home is chilling and devastating. This is the persecution that Christians, outside the UK at least, must face. Pew Research confirms that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world.
So when I saw Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama refer to murdered Sri Lankan Christians in their sympathy tweets as ‘Easter Worshippers’, I was disgusted. It sickened me. Who are you, I wondered, to be so disrespectful? They cannot even use the term Christian, such is their disdain for us as a group, because for the Left Christians are the ones that do all the persecuting and can never be the victims, even if they are being blown to bits during Mass. No decent person would refer to Muslims as Friday prayers attendees, or Jews as observers of Passover. It would be disgusting to diminish them in such a way.
But I shall try not to dwell on these two odious characters. We can only hope and pray that Sri Lanka does not fall into some terrible civil war. I leave the last word to Father Sanjeera Appuhamy, who was conducting Mass at St Sebastian’s when the bomber struck. He was desperate to stem the unrest stirring in this once-tranquil community. ‘We have to reach out. People are afraid but we must not turn on each other,’ he said in front of his stricken church. ‘The men who did this are not Muslims, they are not people of God, they are inhuman, barbarians.’