Monday, 22 April 2019

My own Easter Message

The news from Sri Lanka is both shocking and saddening. The death toll as I type is set at 290, but so many were injured, I won't be surprised if it rises even further.

Bombing churches on Easter Sunday was always going to have a devastating effect. Devout Christians were clearly being targeted. I thought the trouble with the Tamil Tigers had been settled, so looked at Wikipedia to see if I had been mistaken. I hadn't.

However, what I did see was a report of violent attacks last year on Muslims in Sri Lanka by Buddhists. Buddhists are the majority in Sri Lanka and, although there is no state religion, Buddhism officially occupies a special place.

In recent months, there have also been shootings at synagogues and mosques. I am not a fan of organised religions - generally I see them as part of the patriarchy, trying to keep the little people in order - but I'm also not a fan of killing those little people.

Most religions promote a peaceful way of life - I'm thinking of the moderate branches here, not the extremists that have carried out these recent attacks. There was a meme a couple of days ago on Facebook (I can't find it now, naturally!) drawing attention to all the different religious perpetrators of  mass attacks on those of other religions. It summarised it with "Religion is not the problem; violence is the problem."

I'd really like to believe that. But in these days of increasing polarisation, it seems that religions are also falling foul of the same issue, and it is the silent, moderate, majority that are suffering, while the strident minority push for ever more drastic steps to achieve dominance.

Easter is supposed to be a time of new life, Passover celebrates continuing life. For far too many in Sri Lanka this year, that message has been subverted. The silence needs to change.

No comments:

Post a Comment