Service for the victims after the terror attacks in Sri Lanka

King Harald together with Bishop Bernt Eidsvig in the Catholic ChurchOSLO. King Harald together with Bishop Bernt Eidsvig in the Catholic Church.Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

King Harald and Prime Minister, Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) participated in a service in Oslo on Friday evening for the victims of the terror attacks in Sri Lanka.

Helga Haugland Byfuglien, Sri Lankan’s ambassador to Norway, Arusha Cooray, and leaders from a number of religious and philosophical communities were also present.

The Mass, led by Bishop Bernt I. Eidsvig, was held in the Catholic St. John’s Church in Bredtvet.

Parish priest, Bharath Damacius Villavarayen, who is himself from Sri Lanka, gave the sermon.

There was a Catholic Mass for the deceased, intercession for the dead and recommending them to God.

On the morning of Easter Sunday, three churches and three hotels were attacked by suicide bombers in Sri Lanka. The three churches of St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, the St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, and the Zion Church in Batticaloa on the east coast, and the three hotels Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury were attacked almost simultaneously.

According to figures from the health authorities, 253 people were killed in the attacks, while about 150 were injured. A total of nine suicide bombers blew themselves up, either during the attacks or when the police attempted to arrest them.

After Friday’s service, there was a solidarity meeting organized by the Cooperation Council for Religious and Life Sciences (STL) in collaboration with the Norwegian Christian Council, the Norwegian Church, Sri Lankan dialogue forum, and Caritas Norway. Here, among other things, messages were read from the Minister of Religious and Life Inspection, Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (KrF) and Head of the Arp, Jonas Gahr Støre.

“To hit the religious who gather for prayer and worship is to hit people in the heart” said Ingrid Rosendorf Joys of STL.