In response to the attacks in Sri Lanka that killed at least 250 people and injured 500 or more, President Joel N. Lohr issued this response.
Like many of you, I woke Sunday morning to hear the horrific news of mass killings in Sri Lanka. That this happened on Easter Sunday, a profoundly important day for me and so many Christians—a day that for us points to life, hope, and redemption—made this news only more difficult. I, along with the larger Hartford Seminary community, unequivocally condemn these attacks, those that killed numerous Christians as they worshiped along with bystanders caught in a senseless act of hatred. One of the deaths hit close to home for a staff member, and our hearts go out to her and her family. No one, ever, should have to receive news that a family member was killed in such a horrific way.
These attacks follow all too closely on the heels of others at home in the U.S. and around the world, attacks in which Jews, Muslims, Christians and others have been targeted as they gathered to pray in their houses of worship. As people of conscience, as people of faith and others of goodwill, we must stand together to protect the right to worship and live out one’s faith without fear of violence.
This tragic event and those before it reinforce Hartford Seminary’s commitment to peacebuilding, religious dialogue, education, and understanding. We continue to do our best as humble ambassadors of peace to stand as a beacon in the darkness and to model ways that people of different faiths can learn with and from each other. We do so because our faiths demand it. We do so because our world so desperately needs it.
We pray for those affected in Sri Lanka and around the world. May God bring healing, hope, and peace.
President Joel N. Lohr