The Canadian Council of Imams and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) have issued a joint statement condemning the deadly terrorist attacks that struck churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, April 21.

"Both our religious traditions speak of peace, love, and justice for all humanity," the statement reads. "It is abhorrent to see the people of Sri Lanka, whether gathered to worship on the feast of Easter, or with family and friends in hotels, subjected to acts of hate and complete disregard for human life.

"As faith communities in Canada, we stand together, offering our condolences and prayers for all the victims of this terrorist attack and with a united voice rejecting all forms of hatred, violence, and discord."

The Council of Imams (CCI) had earlier issued their own statement, saying: "According to Qur’anic teachings, all religious places are sanctuaries that need to be protected. These are the places where members of diverse faith groups find solace and peace. It is abhorrent that this peace is disrupted, sanctity is violated, and lives are shattered by terrorists who belong to no religion nor subscribe to any moral ideals.

"Canadian Council of Imams expresses its deepest condolences to the families and friends who lost their loved ones in this senseless attack and offers prayers for the injured for a speedy recovery and mental strength to come out of this trauma. CCI also offers its sympathies to the Sri Lankan-Canadians and the international community who lost their family members, friends or relatives in this tragedy and stands in solidarity with the Christian religious and community leaders in Canada in their hour of grief. 

"CCI prays that God Almighty envelop those who lost their lives with His mercy and compassion. May He grant relief to the injured and ease the pain of all those who have been impacted."

The president of the CCCB, Bishop Lionel Gendron of Saint-Jean-Longeuil, shared the message along with a letter of condolence to his counterpart in Sri Lanka, Bishop Julian Winston Sebastian Fernando of Badulla.

"We mourn the wanton acts of violence that targeted worshippers, families, and visitors, sowing seeds of hate and division in a place of peace and unity which each society should foster and protect," he wrote. "We join our hearts and our voices in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka and in witness of the healing message of God’s love for all humanity.

"As the Catholic communities of Sri Lanka and others begin their efforts to heal in mind and body from these repugnant events, may you find comfort in the consolation and compassion of Our Lord, as well as through the prayers and support offered by your brothers and sisters in Christ from Canada and around the world."

For full texts of the statements, visit the CCCB website.