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Brussels, Lahore attacks no way to a better world: Primate

Attacks "remind us again of the futility of violence": Dr Freier

The Easter Day attack in Lahore left at least 72 people dead and more than 300 injured.

By Mark Brolly

March 31 2016Melbourne’s Archbishop Philip Freier, the Anglican Primate of Australia, has denounced the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Lahore last month, saying they would do nothing to build a better world.

Dr Freier said the explosions that shattered the airport and metro station in the Belgian capital brought only death, panic and pain, and “remind us again of the futility of violence”. Thirty-five people were killed and more than 300 were injured.

“The dual terrorist attacks will do nothing to build a better world, in Europe or in the Middle East,” he said in a statement issued on 24 March. “Death and destruction are always counter-productive.

“What awful horror disturbs our hearts as we think of those people killed in circumstances so familiar to many from constant repetition around the globe? It is not yet the end of March, and already well over 2000 people have been butchered this year in scores of terrorist attacks.

“Only days before we remember Jesus’ death on the cross, the facelessness of evil is once again to the forefront of our attention. The message of Easter and the reality of God’s triumph over death and evil is so purposeful for us at this time.

“In the dramatic narrative of Holy Week, we see the love that suffers: God’s decision to engage human evil, the resurrection to life of Jesus, the victory of divine love, evil’s inevitable defeat and God’s offer of peace.

“It is right that we pray for those who have suffered so terribly. It is also right that we pray for those who conspire to carry out such harm, for God to change their hearts and minds from evil to good.”

In a Facebook post six days later, Archbishop Freier deplored “another great tragedy and more innocent lives lost” after the Easter Day attack at the Gulshan-e Iqbal Park in Lahore, in which at least 72 people were killed and more than 300 injured – many of them women and children – after a bomb exploded in the park.

Dr Freier posted on his website remarks by the Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, President Bishop Samuel Azariah, that Pakistan was at breaking point.

The Church of Pakistan is a United Church that brings together Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and Lutherans.

The stated targets of the attack were Christians celebrating Easter but even more Muslims are believed to have been killed and wounded.

[with ACNS]