Community unites to show solidarity with Sri Lanka terror attack victims

Published Friday 26 April 2019 at 13:47

A one minute silence for victims of the Sri Lanka terror attacks brought the local community together in Blackburn Cathedral this morning (Friday 26 April).

People gathered in the Cathedral to pay their respects to the victims of the terror attacks on Easter Sunday.

The Dean of Blackburn Cathedral, the Very Reverend Peter Howell-Jones, led the short service. The Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Councillor Mohammed Khan, and Derek Estill of the Interfaith Forum also spoke at the event.

The service included a period of quiet reflection for everyone present to pay respects to the victims in their own way.

Candles were lit as a symbol of hope in the aftermath of the atrocity.

At 11.30am everyone joined in a minute’s silence to remember the victims.

The Very Reverend Peter Howell-Jones said:

Standing together as a united community here in Blackburn is so important in the midst of such shocking acts of terrorism. The Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka targeting the country’s minority Christian community are deeply disturbing not only for those in Sri Lanka but for all people of good will across the world.

Such mindless acts of violence will never achieve their hoped for aims simply because love is stronger than death and peace will always be a greater cause than aggression.

Our commitment as a community here at the Cathedral is to pray for those who have been injured and killed, for their families and all who seek to provide care at this troubling time.  We also remember those who are striving now to establish peace and harmony once again.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, added:

We know that our local community appreciates opportunities to come together to show their solidarity with the victims of such horrific and cowardly attacks. It saddens me that it’s less than six weeks since the last time we held a minute’s silence in the aftermath of the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand.

Every time our community comes together like this we are united in our sorrow and our sympathy for those who have lost their lives in senseless attacks. Our unity is our strength, and we must continue to use that strength to counter hatred in all its forms and reject the actions of a twisted minority. Hate will not win.

Derek Estill, Secretary of the Interfaith Forum, commented:

Our thoughts, prayers and sympathy go out to all those who have lost loved ones or have been affected by this horrendous and senseless act of barbarity. There is no place in civilised society for such acts of hatred targeting faith communities. All must be able to exist in safety to practice their faith freely and without fear, and it is therefore most important that all faith communities demonstrate a united determination against all terrorist attacks, making it clear that such mindless acts of violence can never and will never succeed.

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