March 2016 has been punctuated by violence. On March 4, a group of terrorists attacked a convent and nursing home run by the Missionaries of Charity, also known as Mother Teresa’s Home, in Yemen. Sixteen people, including eight residents, four nuns, and several other volunteers were killed. When the attack began, Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil was praying in the chapel and was abducted. Several news outlets are reporting that he was crucified on Good Friday but simultaneously reports that his whereabouts is unknown. Ever since the attacks, the Franciscan Sisters of Siessen have been calling for people everywhere to pray for his safety.
Father Tom, 56, had been working for four years as a chaplain to the Sisters of Mother Teresa. He remained behind after all but one other priest had left and his own church was burned to the ground. A surviving nun reported to the Mirror (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/isis-crucify-priest-chilling-easter-7640569 ) that the others had been tied to trees and shot.
Last Tuesday, terrorist bombs killed 35 people and wounded more than 300 others at an airport and subway station in Brussels, Belgium.
Yesterday, a suicide attack on Christians celebrating Easter at a public park in Lahore, Pakistan left more than 70 people dead and, according to the BBC, more than 300 people injured. The attack took place near the main gate near the children’s playground and a section designated for women.
This morning, Pope Francis responded to the attacks. “If Christ is risen, we can look with new eyes and hearts at every event of our lives, even to the most negative. The moments of darkness, of failure and sin can be transformed and announce a new journey. When we have reached the bottom of our misery and our weakness.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-European Region issued a response(https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2016-03-22/adventist-church-in-the-inter-european-region-responses-to-the-terrorist-attack-in-brussels/) to the Brussels violence on March 22.
“We wish to extend our most sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the terrorist attack. May our prayers and thoughts comfort them in this time of pain, anger and sadness. May our love gather them in an encompassing hug. We also pray that the Lord, our God, may fill their hearts with the certainty of eternal life, in which we will live with joy and gladness in brotherly communion. Death and pain will be no more!
“Firm and unconditional is our condemnation of all acts of terror, violence and oppression. May weapons, hate and violence cease! No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism. We are all brothers and sisters, children of one same Father.
“We encourage Adventist members to draw close to all who are suffering, in these times of great anguish.”
Illustration: DepositPhotos.com / g215