Arunachal Christians hold candle-light rally to pray for Sri Lanka

Expressing solidarity with the victims of the terrorist bomb attacks in Sri Lank on Easter Sunday, the Catholic community in Arunachal Pradesh conducted special prayer service across the State with candle light rally on 28 April.

The Indian Catholic Church had dedicated the 28 April, the second Sunday following Easter this year, which is also celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday, as a day of prayer and solidarity with the Church and the people of island nation.

The catholic in Arunachal Pradesh made special prayer service during the Sunday Mass in the morning and Eucharistic Adoration and candle light rally in the evening.

Bishop George Pallipparambil sdb, the Bishop of Miao Diocese, expressed grief over the Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka. “The sad news of the serial blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter morning is too painful and condemnable.  Sri Lanka as a nation has suffered enough violence in the past. We offer our condolences to the people of Sri Lanka. We assure our prayerful support to the church in Sri Lanka. May the Lord of peace who defeated death itself help the people of Sri Lanka with hope and peace”, read a statement from the Bishop.

The youth around Miao held a rally at the local market place in Namphai in Changlang district. “The news coming from Sri Lanka is very painful. What should have been a joyful day turned into a day of mourning and pain for our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka”, said Nangtim Mossang, a youth leader from Miao.  

“We have come together today to tell our suffering brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka that they are not alone in this time of great pain. Their agony is ours and we share their grief”, said Mr. Tumen Wangrai, a local Catechist from Changlang district.

Around 200 people participated in the rally that began from the Grotto of Sacred Heart in the town and concluded at the town’s Government Higher Secondary School.

The rally, which was preceded by Eucharistic Adoration, saw the participation of people from all faith background. The small community of Muslims living in the area and a large number of Hindus too were present.

Similar rallies were held at Tezu in Lohit district and Pongchao in Longding district of east Arunachal Pradesh.

A string of suicide bomb attacks hit three churches during Easter Sunday morning service in Sri Lanka.  Three luxury hotels packed with tourists were also attacked. 

Two of the places of worship were Catholic churches: St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo.  Another blast at the Evangelical Zion Church in the eastern coastal city of Batticaloa also claimed numerous lives.

On Wednesday, 3 days after the attacks in Sri Lanka, the death toll climbed to 359 with more than 500 injured.