Only minutes before a bomb tore through their Easter Sunday administration, kids at Zion Church in Batticaloa Sri Lanka, purportedly communicated their ability to pass on for Christ.
“Today was an Easter Sunday school at the church and we asked the children how many of you willing to die for Christ? Everyone raised their hands. Minutes later, they came down to the main service and the blast happened. Half of the children died on the spot,” Caroline Mahendran, a Sunday School teacher at the church said, according to an account Israeli public figure Hananya Naftali posted on Facebook.
Naftali additionally shared about the kids’ boldness on Twitter, including an image of the class.
The Rev. Kumaran, a pastor at Zion Church, told Times of India that he confronted the bomber at 8:30 a.m. local time, because he did not recognize the man, who was casually dressed and carrying a bag.
“I asked him who he was and his name. He said he was a Muslim and wanted to visit the church,” Kumaran said.
Some of the priests then quickly pulled Kumaran away, as Easter service was about to begin and the church was packed.
While he was walked toward the podium, an ear-shattering explosion engulfed the sanctuary, killing 28 people, among them 12 children, the priest recounted to the Times of India. Others are in critical condition.
The multiple Easter morning attacks in Sri Lanka targeting churches and luxury hotels killed at least 290 people and wounded 500 more.
Authorities believe National Thowheed Jamath, a radical Islamist group, is likely the assailant who committed the attack.
Sri Lanka is an island nation off the southeast coast of India. The majority of its 21 million people are Buddhist. Muslims make up 10 percent of the population and Christians 7 percent, according to The Journal.
According to Open Doors — a group dedicated to raising awareness about Christian persecution worldwide — reports on average every month that 345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons, and 105 churches or Christian buildings are burned or attacked. An epidemic that is not addressed nearly as much as it should be.