As an organization that promotes love and harmony among people of diverse faiths and beliefs, we at NAIN are especially grieved by the terrible tragedy that occurred in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. We are dismayed that, once more, we are compelled to write a statement about such a tragedy. We earnestly hope it will not be necessary again.
Sadly, the list below is not exhaustive of other attacks on the diverse faith and belief systems of our human family.
On October 27, 2018, a senseless act of violence occurred at Tree of Life Or L'Simcha synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
On March 15, 2019, senseless acts of violence occurred in New Zealand at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques on a Friday, the Muslim weekly special day of assembly and prayer.
And, recently on Easter Sunday, a day of important religious significance for Christians, senseless acts of violence occurred at multiple churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Hundreds were killed, hundreds more injured, and countless people traumatized.
All of these attacks were perpetrated during special times of prayer for each of the targeted communities. We do not know all of the underlying causes for each of these tragedies, but we must not give up trying to find out. We do know that the special importance - even the sacredness - of all sentient beings was missing to the minds of the perpetrators. Once again, we suffer the loss of so many unique expressions of the Divine.
Such violence is never acceptable. It is imperative that faith and interfaith leaders multiply and expand opportunities for people from a wide variety of faith orientations and belief systems to experience, hear and understand each other, to grow in empathy for others, and to unravel and overcome the causes of this violence. We must all do our part, wherever we reside, to extend the hand of friendship to others. We must never become numb or apathetic to repeated actions of violence, wherever they occur.
Let us say together, "Never again!"
The North American Interfaith Network will do our part. Now is a time for mourning. It also is a time for healing, re-committing, as well as for creating a safe and peaceful world for all.
North American Interfaith Network