International (MNN) — On Easter Sunday in 2019, suicide bombers launched attacks on three churches in Sri Lanka, killing hundreds of Christians. Read more about the attack here.
It’s an example of what many believers around the world risk on holidays like Easter. But this year, the pandemic may mean less chance for these kinds of attacks. Todd Nettleton of The Voice of the Martyrs USA says, “Maybe there are fewer people at risk this year, if they’re meeting via Zoom or Facebook, not in person. Just from a statistical standpoint, there are fewer potential targets. Now, that doesn’t mean there won’t be attacks. And it doesn’t mean we should stop praying.”
Remembering the global Church
After His death and resurrection, Jesus established one global Church from all people on Earth. Nettleton says Easter provides an opportunity for Christians in the West to remember this. “When we understand that family relationship, that they are our brothers and sisters, then knowing that they are at more risk automatically makes us pray more fervently. It makes us more mindful of the risk that they’re taking. So that’s what I hope grows out of this: just more of a connection among the body of Christ.”
Pray your brothers and sisters can worship free from violence this Easter, and rejoice with them in Jesus’ resurrection. Nettleton says, “We go to church on Sunday and celebrate Easter, probably not thinking much about danger and not thinking much about security. For brothers and sisters in hostile and restricted nations that’s not the case at all.”
The header photo shows one of the Sri Lanka churches targeted by the 2019 Easter bombing. (Photo courtesy of AntanO, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)