Indian Catholic News

Human chain in India honors Sri Lankan blast victims

New Delhi event calls for people of all faiths to take a stand against religion-based terrorism.

 
Hindus, Christians and Muslims attend an April 23 interfaith event in New Delhi to pray for the victims of the Islamic terror attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. (Photo by Rita Joseph/ucanews.com)
New Delhi: 

About 100 people including Muslims held hands to form a human chain in front of New Delhi’s Sacred Heart Cathedral to pay homage to the victims of suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka that killed 359 people, mostly Christians.

Leaders from Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths joined hands on April 23 to express solidarity with families of victims of the Easter Sunday blasts.

"Here we are praying for grieving families and for Christians to have courage and hope after this most dastardly attack. I can’t recall such a large number of martyrs in recent history," said Islamic scholar and politician Maulana Mahmood Madani.

The violence in Sri Lanka “is an attack on all of us. We must and we can fight against those who want to destroy us or tear us apart,” said Father Felix Jones, secretary of Delhi Archdiocese’s Commission for Interfaith Dialogue.

Participants sang hymns praying for those who perished in Sri Lanka. Flowers were placed in front of the cathedral, fortified with unprecedented security, and candles lit in memory of the dead, who included 40 foreigners including 10 Indians.

Delhi police have strengthened security in churches across the capital following the atrocity.

Apporvanand Jha, a Hindu college professor who has been part of a campaign against hate crimes, said in the face of such violence “the best response is to come together, hold each other and say that violence cannot do us apart.”

He added: “We will continue to be together. Every time such a heinous crime takes place, we should come together and condemn it."

Christian leader Michael Williams said Christians who believe in the Bible have a duty to come out against evil because the Bible teaches that good will overcome evil.

“Let us try that. More and more good people need to come out from their comfort zones onto the streets and unite against the spread of hatred. Don’t just sit back and say, ‘I did nothing wrong, why should I bother?’" he said.

The program was organized by United Against Hate, a collection of groups campaigning against hate violence and the intolerance of Hindu groups towards minorities such as Christians and Muslims in India. It was endorsed by Delhi Archdiocese and its Commission for Interfaith Dialogue.

Ovais Sultan Khan, organizer of the human chain, said it was good to see people from every faith coming together to stand against religion-based violence.

“I think these kinds of symbolic things will make a strong future that will be more peaceful," Khan said.

Sikh leader Gurvinder Singh condemned the “barbaric” violence in Sri Lanka. The Sikh people “stand in unity with the Christian community and seek justice,” he said.

Source: UCAN

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