Burnley multi-faith group holds prayer for peace after Sri Lanka terror attack
Building Bridges in Burnley organised a prayer for peace to remember the victims of the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
Local religious, community and political leaders attended the prayer for peace at the Burnley and Pendle Faith Centre on Friday.
Speakers spoke passionately and called for unity among faith communities at a time when forces are trying create division and hatred.
Representing the diverse faiths and communities in Burnley, the following people spoke at the vigil: Couns. Afrasiab Anwar, Bea Foster, Lubna Khan, Mr Mozaquir Ali, Director of Building Bridges in Burnley, the Rev Liz Hewitt, the Rev Philip Taylor, the Rev Jim Corrigall, Samina Ali, Peter Fothergill, Buddhist, Jim Alison, the Baha'i.
Mr Ali said: "It was so sad and moving to have to come together again so soon after the last terrorist killing in New Zealand.
"The Easter Sunday tragedy was even worse in Sri Lanka. We express our solidarity, compassion and pray for the victims and their families, and above all our defiance against all forms of hatred. These attacks reinforces the fact that we need to continue to work hard and ensure community cohesion."
Methodist Minister Phillip Taylor said: "It was important to come together as representatives of the different faith groups in Burnley to remember all those whose lives were cruelly cut short through the acts of violence in Sri Lanka on Easter Day and to pray for those whose lives have been tragically altered by those events.
"As people from the different faith traditions spoke we acknowledged those crucial things that we hold in common as children of God. We committed ourselves once again not to allow such acts of violence to divide us from one another but to continue journeying in peace and developing understanding within our communities. We will continue to hope and not hate."
Coun. Foster said: "There must be freedom for all communities to worship and practice their faith freely and without fear. We must continue to work together with ever greater urgency against ignorance, prejudice and hatred."