Sri Lanka vigils to be held in Brighton and Hove

A vigil will be held in Hove
A vigil will be held in Hove

Vigils will be held in Brighton and Hove as community group One Voice condemned the Easter Sunday attacks on churches in Sri Lanka this weekend.

More than 300 lives were lost and 500 people were injured in the attacks.

A statement by One Voice, a partnership made up of different communities in Brighton and Hove, said: “Following the incident in Sri Lanka, the city’s One Voice Partnership strongly condemns this act of violence on innocent people.

“The targeting of churches during Easter Sunday services and hotels in Sri Lanka has deeply shocked and saddened us all. We send our deepest sympathies to the families of those who have lost their loved ones, those who have been injured, and all affected communities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

“We do not tolerate violence against innocent people, wherever it takes place. Together we speak with one voice against extremist perspectives and terrorist actions in the city and elsewhere.”

It said a vigil will be held to pay respect to those killed and injured in the attacks at Hove Methodist Church, Portland Road, between 6pm and 7pm on Wednesday April 24.

Brighton & Hove Faith in Action, which represents the city’s faith communities, will also hold a vigil on Thursday, April 25 from 7.30pm at the Brighthelm Centre.

A spokesperson for the group said: "On behalf of all our member faith communities in Brighton & Hove, the multifaith charity Brighton & Hove Faith in Action (BHFA) and the city’s Faith Council would like to express our deep sadness for the victims, and solidarity with those who mourn after the vicious attacks on Christian places of worship and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

"The sustained and widespread persecution of Christians across the globe should be widely condemned by people of goodwill everywhere. Antisemitism and Islamophobia are on the rise and so too is Christianphobia. As with all victims of hate, Christians have the right to define and be protected from the hatred they receive. We once again restate our solidarity with all those who are persecuted and suffer discrimination for their religious faith and reiterate our resolve to tackle all forms of hate crime in our society.

"We invite people of faith and goodwill to join us on Thursday from 7.30pm at the Brighthelm Centre, to share an expression of solidarity with all who suffer discrimination before our Faith Hustings with local council election candidates begins. Tackling faith hate crime will factor in our Faith Hustings discussion as well as how faith communities may be better appreciated and supported in delivering social action projects across the city for the benefit of all citizens."