By Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) commiserates with the government and people of Sri Lanka where no fewer than 300 persons, including children and foreigners were killed and over 405 sustained multiple injuries as a result of terrorist bombing of churches during Easter Sunday services.
In this moment of colossal national mourning, CAN, with a heavy heart, stands with the government and people of Sri Lanka.
Though Sri Lankan officials reportedly said they believed that the local Islamist extremist group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), was behind the attacks, ISIS has already claimed responsibility for the dastardly attacks according to media reports. ISIS has gained global notoriety as a terrorist group that derives joy in barbaric persecution of Christians and launching of deadly attacks against them.
The same weekend here in Nigeria, no fewer than 11 were reportedly killed in Benue State during the Easter celebrations. According to reports, no fewer than 20 others died and some 35 others also sustained injuries in other Easter attacks on Christians in Adamawa and Gombe States.
It is a tragic irony that these dastardly acts took place while we were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ who died for the sin of the world, including those terrorists.
Our hearts are with the families that are affected and we pray for all those who are recuperating in the hospitals and medical facilities for quick recovery. Ultimately, we call on the Lord to console and comfort all the bereaved.
Christians are increasingly becoming endangered species all over the world. No fewer than 200 innocent women, including a teenage student, Leah Sharibu, have been kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria; sadly, the government appears powerless in rescuing them and protecting the lives of Nigerians.
This Sri Lanka attacks came while the whole world has not yet recovered from the shock of the disastrous fire which ravaged one of France’s most iconic sites, Notre-Dame Cathedral, though the incident was not linked to terror attack.
We call on the United Nations and other global organisations to come to the aid of all the victims in Sri Lanka, France, Nigeria and other countries of the world suffering from similar fate. We urge the UN to take a more aggressive lead in championing a global campaign to stop all forms of terror attacks, not just against Christians, Churches and other worship places around the world, but it should also improve on its provision of relief supports to the victims of terrorism promptly. The situation requires immediate action in order not to get out of hand.
We are, however, comforted by the fact that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, will restore peace to the world, even if the human system fails (as it has always failed) to provide us peace and protection whether the devil likes it or not. Amen.
We equally urge our beloved Sri Lanka brethren, Christians in Nigeria and around the world not to lose faith in God; let us all remain resolute on our faith and confidence in God through Jesus Christ bearing in mind that, the resurrected Christ for whom we pay such costly sacrifices remains our eternal saviour, help, hope, comforter and rewarder.
To Him be all the glory, power and honour for ever. Amen!