The pastor of one of the churches bombed by Muslim extremists in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday has revealed that he has forgiven those who carried out the bombings.
Roshan Mahesan, senior pastor of Zion Church in Batticaloa, in a Facebook post on Friday said 28 people from his congregation were killed by the suicide bombing at his church and about 70 persons were still hospitalized.
“Still, we are hurt. We are angry” Mahesan said.
“As the senior pastor of Zion Church Batticaloa, the whole congregation and every family affected, we say to the suicide bomber and also to the group that sent the suicide bomber that we love you and we forgive you.”
Mahesan said that no matter what the extremists did to the church, he and the Zion Church congregants will love those responsible for the killings because they “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ”.
“Jesus Christ on the cross, He was quoted saying, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doin” Mahesan said.
“We also, who follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ, we say for the Lord to forgive these people.”
Mahesan explained that as a group of believers, they see all people “as people.”
“When Jesus looks at you as a person, He doesn’t look at your religion. He doesn’t look at your culture. He doesn’t look at anything,” Mahesan said. “For Him, you are His child. We are all lost. Jesus came in this world to seek and find the Lord”.
Mahesan, who was visiting a church in Norway at the time of the attacks, vowed that the ministry will continue the “call and mission the Lord has given us.”
Concluding his message, Mahesan thanked every church and believer around the world for their support in the aftermath of the horrific event.
Zion Church is one of the three churches that were attacked by suicide bombers on Easter Sunday. Hotels were also targeted as Christians were having Easter breakfast.
Over 100 families were impacted by the bombing at Zion Church, according to the British Pakistani Christian Association, a London-based charity that is active throughout South Asia and is aiding victims at Zion Church.
The Sri Lankan police say that at least two of the suicide bombers involved in the attacks, which killed at least 250 people, was from Kattankudy, a town known for Wahhabism a hard-line strain of Islam blamed for breeding militancy, according to the New York Times. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to whom the suicide bombers in the Easter attacks apparently pledged their loyalty, claimed the bombings in Sri Lanka were “part of the revenge” that awaits the West.