• Sri Lanka terror attacks hit close to home for local family

    By: Chris Flanagan

    Updated:

    The terror attacks in Sri Lanka are hitting close to home for members of a Stoneham church.

    Gabriel George is a pastor at New England Tamil Church in Stoneham. His members are made up of mostly Indian and Sri Lankans.

    George says one of the families had three relatives gravely injured in the terror attacks. He says they were attending an Easter Sunday service when a bomb ripped through their church. 

    "We were supposed to come to church and were supposed to worship together because of the bomb blast some couldn't come because their families were affected," said George. "Some of the immediate family members affected like 4-month-old baby, 10-year-old... they're all in ICU with a ventilator."

    >> Sri Lanka bombings: Easter Sunday blasts kill nearly 300; militant group suspected

    Sri Lankan officials say nearly 300 people were killed and more than 500 injured when at least nine bombs tore through churches and high-end hotels on Sunday. 

    George says many members of his church felt helpless because they're so far from home.

    "Some of them are still worried about what's happening because they are not able to reach back out to their family members so they're worried, but hopefully everyone is OK over there," he said. 

    For now, George is counseling and comforting those families and on Sunday, the New England Tamil Church will open its doors for anyone wishing to donate to the Sri Lankan victims. 

    "We will be having a special service for the grieving family and for the peace and protection of Sri Lanka," said George.

    The service will be held on Sunday at 4 p.m. inside the First Congregational Church in Stoneham. The public is welcome. 

    >> Sri Lanka explosions: Pope denounces attacks during Easter blessing

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