Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | April 22, 2019

Terror in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a tear-drop shaped island in the Indian Ocean, was rocked by terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday. Three Christian churches, packed with worshipers, and three luxury hotels were targeted by suicide bombers in what can only be regarded as coordinated attacks. The explosions claimed 290 lives and wounded an additional 500 people.


Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the government has blamed the National Thowheed Jamath, a little-known jihadist group. Authorities also believe that the suicide bombers and their co-conspirators, all Sri Lankan citizens, had international support from other Islamist terrorist groups.

Sri Lanka’s security forces were warned about possible attacks at least ten days before the bombings. However, no one took action and top government officials say the warnings never reached them, indicating a catastrophic intelligence failure. Whatever the reason, the failure to take action resulted in the loss of lives.

The reality, however, is that no matter how vigilant we are, those who seek to kill and destroy will find a way to do it no matter what — even at the expense of their own lives. That is one of the realities that makes terrorism so terrifying. The suicide bombers in Sri Lanka willingly paid the ultimate price in an effort to advance whatever it is they wanted to advance.

Perhaps we will find out more in the coming days. Surely the suicide bombers would want the world to know why they sacrificed their lives and were willing to take the lives of others. Given that 24 people have been arrested in connection with the bombings, it appears the suicide bombers were part of something much bigger than themselves.

The bombings in Sri Lanka are yet one more indication that we live in a world gone mad, a world that is being ripped apart by senseless acts of violence — acts designed to strike terror into the hearts of ordinary people. Terror always leaves death and destruction in its wake. These are just two of the bitter fruits of worldviews that disregard the value of human life.

When you peel back the layers of any terrorist act, or any beneficent act, you eventually get to the heart of the matter — and the heart really is the matter. Jeremiah (17:9) cautioned, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jesus observed, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil” (Luke 6:45).

At the heart of every oppressive and deadly act of violence is a blatant disregard for or an impoverished understanding of the sanctity of human life. When we do not value human life, then no one and no place is off-limits to those who seek to steal, kill, and destroy — be it in a holy place or the market place.

I am saddened by what happened in Sri Lanka. My heart aches for all who are dealing with the pain of the senseless loss of their loved ones. As a Christ-follower, I choose to bring good treasures out of my heart. I choose to respect life, protect life, and work toward the day when “man who is of the earth may cause terror no more” (Psalm 10:18).


Responses

  1. Thank you for taking the time to delve into the horrific murder of so many lives in Sri Lanka. Oddly (or maybe not), the secular media has barely mentioned it, at least on the news channels I watch. You are right, the human heart is depraved and wicked apart from Christ and sadly capable of such heinous sins against a Holy and loving God, evidenced once again by the killing of human life, who are created in God’s image. May Jesus heal our hearts by the mighty power of His Holy Spirit.

    • Amen, Charmé. Thanks for your good words.


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