Easter marred by Sri Lanka bombs, pope says in condemning blasts

Clay Curtis
April 22, 2019

In a special appeal at the end, Francis lamented the "grave attacks" on Sri Lankan hotels and churches, which occurred just as the Christian faithful were celebrating Easter Mass that marks the resurrection of Christ following his crucifixion.

From President Trump to congressional leaders to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, the attacks that claimed more than 200 people and injured hundreds of others were immediately condemned across the political spectrum in the U.S.

Hours later two more explosions were reported by police as the government declared an island-wide curfew between the hours of 6pm and 6am. In the Church of the Holy sepulchre in Jerusalem's old city, several masses are celebrated.

An injured tourist crosses the road in front of the National Hospital at Colombo, Sri Lanka.

"New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on 15 March".

He said all religions had a duty to stand with the poor.

The Argentinian pontiff also alluded to the secularisation of modern society, where the faithful "we believing in you and trying to live according to your word, find themselves marginalised and discarded even by their families and their peers".

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"I wish to show my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence".

"To see an attack in SriLanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating".

On Easter Sunday, eight bombs went off across Sri Lanka, killing at least 207 people including 35 foreigners.

"To the attractive people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this bad time of need", he said in a statement.

Both described the attacks as dastardly and cowardly and pledged their solidarity with Sri Lanka people in the elimination of such heinous crimes.

Cricketers and other sports stars have also paid their respects to the victims.

The scale of the bloodshed recalled the worst days of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war, in which the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group from the ethnic Tamil minority, sought independence from the Buddhist-majority country.

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