Peace Vigil to be held outside Ilford Town Hall to remember victims of Sri Lanka Bomb Attack

A multi-cultural and multi faith peace vigil is to be held outside Ilford Town Hall tomorrow at 6.30pm.  

The event which is organised by British Pakistani Christian Association and both Ilford and Newham branches of Emmanuel Christian Centre (Tamil Churches.  

At the event a bagpiper will be playing a lament before and after a one minute silence to the 300+ innocent people who were killed in the attack.

We are urging people of all faiths shocked by the attack to come and join us in solidarity for the victims of this latest devastating attack.

Event:  Together Stronger (vigil for Sri Lanka)
Time:    18:30
Date: Thursday 24th April 2019
Loaction:  Outside Ilford Town Hall

Since our last report police have now arrested over 60 suspects involved in the intricate planning of the pernicious attack.  Some of the arrests
have been from the new migrant Pakistani Muslim population and others are well established wealthy to middle-class citizens.  Individuals involved
seemed well educated and one even studied in the UK which is concerning as such people would not seem to be vulnerable – also suggesting that radicalisation
is through all ranks of Sri Lanka’s Muslim community and potentially widespread.  Read more (here)

Our National Executive for Sri Lanka Anton Kyanq a citizen of the country, is currently meeting with victim of the bomb attack from Zion Church in
Batticaloa and we are beginning our aid package for victims today.  We will be offering payments in lieu of wages lost through loss or injury
to a breadwinner and help with ongoing medical costs.  Anton and his team will be praying with victims and providing trauma counselling.

This link which will contain a list of all the survivors we help will be updated through out the day (click here)

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

“We hope people from all walks of life will join our solidarity event and show support in particular for our anguished Sri Lankan community.

“In our cosmopolitan city of London such attacks cause outrage to the many different people of all faiths or none, who are horrified by the twisted ideology that seeks to destroy our peace.

“Global Christian persecution is on the rise and I urge the UK to take seriously their review of the matter under the auspices of Jeremy Hunt.  

“Foreign aid budgets and diplomatic engagement must bring peace to a broken world by first eradicating Islamism and other far right movements so that from a stable bedrock of safety more harmonious societies can ferment.”

He added:

“”Christ is our healer and we look to him at difficult times such as this, choosing to simply pray for our persecutors in hope they will change their hearts.”

Pastor Kanagaratum from Ilford Emmanuel Christian Fellowship, said:

“Though extremists have struck at Christians during our most holy of celebrations we cannot let their evil ideology win.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to ‘Love our neighbour’ and we must extend a hand of peace despite the disappointment, hurt and anger we feel.

“Today we mourn the death of our martyrs, but one day we will be reunited with them in more glorious surroundings as we revel in the presence of our God.”

Today British Asian Christian Association has contacted the Sri Lankan High Commission on behalf of the Sri Lankan Community and requested an audience with His Excellency Manisha Gunasekera High Commissioner for the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka. We hope to present a wreath of flowers to illustrate our solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka and will seek assurances of protection for Sri Lankan Christians who have been targeted in the recent attacks. We will keep you informed of developments.