A year after Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, recovery still a work in progress

By Elise Ann Allen, 24 April 2020
The faithful venerate a statue of Jesus covered in the martyrs' blood during Holy mass at the St. Sebastian's Church, Katuwapitiya, Negombo, Sri Lanka. Image: Bartek Zytkowiak/Aid to the Church in Need.


On the one-year anniversary of a series of Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that killed nearly 300 people and injured 500 more, the nation mourned in silence, as the government continues its investigation and families struggle to move forward.

To mark the anniversary of the April 21 attacks, the Sri Lankan government asked the entire nation to observe two minutes of silence at 8:45 a.m., the time the first bomb went off in St. Anthony’s Catholic church in Colombo.

According to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, each of Sri Lanka’s different religious communities joined in the moment of silence to commemorate the victims. Catholics who could not attend services due to restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus prayed at home and lit a candle in honour of the dead.

Sri Lanka’s Christian community, he said, are generally doing well and are “satisfied with what’s happening” in terms of assistance from the archdiocese and the government’s ongoing inquiry into who was behind the deadly attacks.

“Of course, we cannot take away the trauma of the families who lost their loved ones,” the cardinal said, noting that there are some families “where they lost almost everyone, leaving them alone, so those kinds of people will require attention continuously in the sense that we have to see to it that they are psychologically settled with what happened.”

“Otherwise it can lead to problems, so we are attending to that right now. A few families have become completely destitute,” Ranjith explained, but insisted that overall, Christians are in good spirits despite the trauma they’ve endured.

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With thanks to Crux and Elise Ann Allen, where this article originally appeared.


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