Easter Sunday is the most special day in the Christian calendar. It marks the day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the fulfilment of the promise God made to his people.
Around the world, Christians gather in large numbers to worship and give thanks for the sacrifice made for them by Christ.
They gathered in Sri Lanka today – and news reports now confirm that at least 207 of them have been killed and 625 injured, some severely, in explosions at churches and hotels.
Eight blasts were reported, including at three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district during Easter services. The Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand luxury hotels, all in the capital, were also targeted.
The carnage is almost beyond words.
St Sebastian’s church in Negombo was severely damaged in one explosion, with dozens killed at the site. Images from inside showed blood on the pews and the building’s ceiling shattered.
There were also heavy casualties at the site of the first blast in St Anthony’s, a hugely popular shrine in Kochchikade, a district of Colombo.
Whilst many of those slaughtered were Sri Lankan nationals, many other Nationalities are amongst the dead.
At least five British people – including two with joint US citizenship – are believed to be among the dead. The US State Department says “several” Americans have been killed. Three Danish citizens and two Turkish nationals were also killed, their governments have confirmed. Netherlands Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a statement that one Dutch national has also died. Reports say three Indian nationals and one Portuguese citizen have also been killed, with more foreign nationals still to be identified.
The media seem curiously reluctant to name the culprits. Which group, we wonder, might single out this gathering of Christians for intended carnage? What sort of people HATE Christians with such maniacal and murderous intent?
Well, whilst the BBC and others remain tight-lipped, the facts are emerging pretty quickly.
It is reported in Sri Lanka that the terrorist behind at least one of the bombings was an Islamist Extremist Imam and preacher by the name of Moulvi Zahran Hashim
Hashim has been active on Youtube pushing hatred and intolerance and yet for some reason, whilst Youtube bans Tommy Robinson, it did not ban Hashim.
Another of the terrorists was identified as Abu Mohammed.
It is further reported that the problem of the Islamic State has been rampant in Sri Lanka since 2016. Back then, the Sri Lankan Parliament was told that 32 Muslims from elite families had joined ISIS. The following year, scores of Sri Lankan ISIS terrorists returned from Syria, following which there was a spike in Jihadi activity. This appears to have culminated in today’s atrocities. This was Jihad.
Further details will emerge in the time ahead but the fact is that militant Muslims chose this, the most sacred day in the Christian calendar, to slaughter Christian worshippers. Had this been the slaughter of Muslims in Mosques by Christians, the media and political class would have ablaze with fury and judgement. Yet today the same media and political class instinctively shy away from asking tough questions concerning why these Muslims want to kill Christians. The hypocrisy is almost as deafening as the killings have been barbaric.
There is no excuse for terrorism from any source. Killing innocent people as they go about their worship is obscene. Just as the killing of 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, was utterly repugnant, so is this mass co-ordinated slaughter in Sri Lanka. The difference, of course, is that the former was the result of one deranged individual whereas what we witness in Sri Lanka today are multiple attacks carried out by a global radical Islamist group
You cannot defeat the enemy unless you name it. That name is Radical Islam.