STATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL OF SRI LANKA ON THE RECENT ATTACK ON THE METHODIST CHURCH IN ANURADHAPURA
The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) is seriously concerned of the recent attack at the Prayer Centre of the Methodist Church in Anuradhapura.
Assuring its prayers and solidarity especially to all victims of this unfortunate experience of violence and intimidation, the NCCSL taking note of the ‘issue’ and the events following , wishes to express its position and stand in the said matter.
- Freedom and practice of worship and embracing a ‘faith’ with conviction is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution of our country. In this regard, we unreservedly condemn any act/s of violence, threats or intimidation of any form as a means of suppressing such ‘rights’ in addressing matters of concern involving objections or displeasure in such prevailing situations, as so witnessed.
- Law and Order is an inherent tool necessary for the progress and functioning of a civilized society and where-in the ‘rule of law’ is practiced and implemented without fear or favour to ensure the stability and sustainability of such society. In this regard, we mourn the in-action, the unprofessional attitude and lackluster approach of the ‘Police’ (the law enforcement arm) in the discharge of its responsibilities for which it exists, as a result of which chaos reigned.
- Peace and Harmony among all people of ethnic, religious and social backgrounds is our endeavor and common goal. Given the unfortunate incident and developments there-to, we are conscious of the pain, distrust, fears and grievances that exists and the need there-in to address the issue and bring healing and understanding in a spirit of dialogue, openness and sincerity.
NCCSL, whilst affirming the expression for freedom of faith, commits itself to this task of trust building and reconciliation with the aggrieved parties to the issue with a wider and inclusive approach involving the participation of all religious leaders, together with civil and political representation.
In the interim period, we call and pray for restraint and for law and order to prevail.
21st April 2019
Rev. Heshan De Silva, Chairperson of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka, and President, Sri Lanka Baptist Sangamaya
Rt. Rev. D.R. Canagasabey –Bishop of Colombo, Church of Ceylon, Diocese of Colombo
Rev. Saman Perera President, Presbytery of Lanka
Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel S. Thiagarajah, Bishop of Jaffna Diocese, Church of South India
Rev. Asiri P. Perera, President/Bishop, Methodist Church of Sri Lanka
Rt. Rev. Keerthisiri Fernando – Bishop of the Church of Ceylon , Diocese of Kurunegala
Rev. Shirley Faber, President, Christian Reformed Church
Lft. Colonel Suresh Pawar ,Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army
Rev. G. Nadarajah, President, Lanka Lutheran Church
Rev. Michael Dissanayake, General Superintendent and Chairman, Assemblies of God of Ceylon
Rev. Leslie Keegal, President, Church of the Four Square Gospel Church in Sri Lanka.
Rev. T. Thevanesan, President, Church of the American Ceylon Mission
Rev. Maxwell Doss, General Secretary, National Christian Council of Sri Lanka
The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka also represents:
Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)
Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
Student Christian Movement (SCM)
The Ceylon Bible Society
Christian Literature Society
Theological College of Lanka.
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