THE appalling attacks on Sri Lankan churches and hotels on the holiest day of the Christian calendar have drawn universal condemnation from Australia, and rightly so.
More than 200 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight bomb blasts that rocked churches, luxury hotels and other sites in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. It was the deadliest violence the country has seen since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago.
Attacks on innocent people who are engaging in the simple act of worship are crimes against humanity.
Such attacks strike at the heart of one of the most basic of human rights - that is, our freedom of religious expression.
They are cowardly attacks on groups of people most hopelessly unprepared to defend themselves and their loved ones.
And they happen far too frequently.
It is impossible not to draw comparisons between the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka and last month's Christchurch mosque attacks.
The targets in the attacks were the same, and yet different.
In Sri Lanka, Christians honouring the resurrection of their saviour were killed while praying; in Christchurch, it was Muslims honouring their weekly prayers.
Different religions, but the same outrage.
In Sri Lanka, terrorists unleashed a co-ordinated assault on a number of targets; in Christchurch, a single terrorist unleashed a lone wolf attack on two targets.
Different approach, same outrage.
In Sri Lanka, we saw a community plunged back into the darkest days of a historic civil war; in Christchurch, we mourned the arrival of terrorism on the shores of a peaceful nation.
Different history, same outrage.
As always, though, that which unites us far stronger than that which divides us.
In the wake of Christchurch we heard the pathetic cries of "where is the sympathy for the Christian victims of terror?" Well, here it is - and we're all the poorer for it.
Because the faiths of the victims in both of these attacks is the least important factor in these stories.
No right-thinking person could think religion matters in cases of the brutal, cowardly murder of innocents.
It is the strike against humanity - against all of us - that is most abhorrent.
We must stand united against evil of every background.
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