Dear Sisters and Brothers,
At the same time that we rejoiced on Easter day as we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, Christians in Sri Lanka, and other citizens, were brutally injured, maimed and killed.It was the work of terrorists, the work of sad, sick and deluded minds. It was not the work of Muslims, any more than the behaviours in the past, and the present, of the Klu Klux Klan are not the work of Christians, nor the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand was the work of ‘a Christian’.
Hatred and bigotry do not lie at the heart of any of the world’s faiths, hatred and bigotry lie in the hearts of evil people. As the IRA, ONH and the ANP did not represent Catholic belief in Northern Ireland so the UVF, UDA and UFF did not represent Protestant belief and none were Christian.
All through history people have used faith as a shield to mask their evil deeds. Martin Joseph once sang about ‘men’s evil deeds wrapped up in a noble cause’ and this is what we see in terrorists who use religion as an excuse.
Our call is to pray for those who have suffered, those of all faiths. Our call is seek to educate people about what faith is really about. Our call is to heal, reconcile and love….somethings that Easter was about and continues to be so.
In Jesus name
Rev. Mark Barrett
Superintendent Presbyteral Minister of the North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit.
Presbyteral Minister for Bath Road, St. Andrew’s and Rodbourne Methodist churches.