The pastor of an evangelical church bombed in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday has offered forgiveness to the attackers.
Pastor Roshan Mahesen, of Zion Church in Batticaloa, said the congregation was “hurt” and “angry” about the devastating suicide bombings which struck two other churches and several luxury hotels, killing hundreds.
However, he said it was important to forgive the attackers “no matter what”.
“We are hurt. We are angry also, but still, as the senior pastor of Zion Church Batticaloa, the whole congregation and every family affected, we say to the suicide bomber, and also to the group that sent the suicide bomber, that we love you and we forgive you, no matter what you have done to us, we love you, because we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said in a video message posted to Facebook.
“Jesus Christ on the Cross, he said father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. We also, who follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ, we say, for the Lord forgive these people.”
In the video, shared by Sri Lankan Christian ministry ‘The Life’, Pastor Roshan went on thank people around the world who had sent messages of condolences to the church.
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, every word you speak brings such comfort and strength. We will stand and continue what the lord has purposed in our life and we are ready and we will continue to fulfil the mission the Lord has given us,” he said.
Pastor Chrishanthy Sathiyaraj, Life founder and Evangelical Alliance council member, urged people to respond with forgiveness and not hate to the attacks.
“These atrocious attacks have shocked the world, the violence has impacted my friends and family and many in the Sri Lankan community in the UK know people who have died,” he said.