Local religious leaders address Sri Lanka bombings at Easter Sunday services

Local News

As Easter Sunday services were held at churches all over the Valley, many religious leaders spoke to their congregation about the tragedy in Sri Lanka. 

“It was a horrible tragedy, and we don’t want to diminish the impact of that, but people of faith understand that violence can never have the last word,” said pastor Vicky Kelley from the First United Methodist church.

According to the Associated Press, over 200 people were killed after eight bombs struck churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Sunday. The bombings are being considered a terrorist attack by religious extremists.

Kelley said no matter the religion, every holy place should be kept safe. 

“Any holy site is one that should be protected and revered, and we stand with everybody who has to suffer violence, no matter if they’re Christian or not.”

Pastor Shane Russo from Woodland Park United Methodist Church said when things like this happen, it is usually meant to break spirits. 

“But, it has the opposite effect a lot of times, especially on a day like today. Those people are getting together, they’re praying and what will probably happen as a result of this is that community is going to crystalize and they’ll come around that,” Russo said. 

“Whatever the worst violence is that’s been perpetrated on somebody, it’s never the last word,” Kelley said. 

She said that is the message of Easter. 

“Someone who was innocent, who suffered and yet, it was not the end,” Kelley said. 

It is not the building, but the presence of faith that counts, Russo said. 

“You’ll see that in Sri Lanka, you’ll see that around Notre Dame Cathedral. It’s the idea that things can die, things can go away, things can be destroyed, but the continued presence of the faith that is present in those places is what will continue what is important,” Russo said. 

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