(A banner outside of Zion Church commemorates members whose lives were lost)
In Sri Lanka on the 21st of April 2019, two Catholic churches (St Anthony's and St Sebastian's), the evangelical Zion Church and three hotels (the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand) were attacked by suicide bombers. They were members of the local Islamic extremist group, National Thowheed Jamath.
Bombs were detonated as Christians filled the churches for Easter Day services and while tourists and members of the public attended Easter feasts hosted by the hotels. 257 people were killed in the coordinated attacks. The two Catholic churches suffered the largest casualties, with approximately 140 people killed and 300 injured. At Zion Church 29 people were killed, 14 of whom were children attending Sunday School. At the hotels, around 60 people lost their lives.
This loss of life has both immediate and long term impacts on these communities. Lives have been permanently and irrevocably affected. Mothers and fathers have lost their children, and many families have lost parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family. Many families now feel the strain not only of the death of their loved ones but increased financial hardship as many households have lost income earners. Children have been adversely affected with their capacity to access education hampered by the death of their parents or other guardians.
(The local community gathers at one of many funerals to mourn and pray)
To help these hurting communities, Anglican Aid is partnering with the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) to respond to immediate and long term needs. NCEASL has already begun providing aid in the form of allowances to pay for the livelihoods of families after the loss of many income earners, as well as scholarships for children to guarantee their education (in the long term). NCEASL is also providing funds to cover current and future medical expenses for children who have been affected by the blast, and trauma counselling to help people to work through this tragedy and to rebuild their community.
Please consider donating to support these devastated communities, to bring reassurance, comfort and help during this tragic time.
For credit card or direct debit donations please click on the donation buttons above and below.
Cheques can be posted to – PO Box Q190, QVB Post Office, 1230, NSW.
All donations to this project are tax deductible.
ABN 28 525 237 517