Beloved in the Lord,

It is horrifying to think of the thousands of people gathered in churches in Sri Lanka yesterday morning to proclaim the Resurrection of Christ, only to suffer deadly bombing attacks that have claimed the lives of at least 290 innocent people, and injured more than 500 others. We find ourselves in prayer and in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, who are grieving the loss of loved ones in this senseless act of violence. At the same time, we find ourselves condemning this and all acts of terror, hatred and violence.

It is time we accept that we live in a multi-cultural world, where no nation is so isolated that it does not contain within its borders citizens of all other cultures, traditions, and nationalities. We are evolving as a global family. Violence cannot be a solution for human differences, be they inspired by race or religion, politics, or culture. Solutions can only be found through dialogue and those values shared by all faiths and all nations—mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and cooperation.

As Orthodox Christians prepare to celebrate the Resurrection this Sunday—the triumph of life over death—we pray earnestly for peace in the world, for the cessation of political upheaval, hostilities, hatred, and prejudice.

May this Pascha bring transformation to the hearts and minds of all humankind, consolation to those who grieve and hope for the future of the human family.

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco

Photo Credit: Adam Dean for The New York Times