From ANN, March 22, 2016:    Many people were killed today in Brussels, Belgium, due to a devastating terrorist attack. The victims were taken from family and friends who loved them deeply. They were immigrants and Europeans; moms and dads; daughters and sons. Each of them were part of one European family.

“It is a difficult and challenging time, and we should face all that being united”, said the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel.

There is chaos and confusion in Brussels. Adventist church members, Inter-European Division (EUD) colleagues, Union officers and denominational employees have not been affected so far.

We wish to extend our most sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the terrorist attack. May our prayers and thoughts comfort them in this time of pain, anger and sadness. May our love gather them in an encompassing hug. We also pray that the Lord, our God, may fill their hearts with the certainty of eternal life, in which we will live with joy and gladness in brotherly communion. Death and pain will be no more!

Firm and unconditional is our condemnation of all acts of terror, violence and oppression. May weapons, hate and violence cease! No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism. We are all brothers and sisters, children of one same Father.

We encourage Adventist members to draw close to all who are suffering, in these times of great anguish.

Additionally, Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, issued a statement regarding the attacks in Belgium:

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Brussels who have sustained terrible explosions causing death and destruction. One of those blasts was very near our Seventh-day Adventist headquarters for that region. I have prayed for the people of Belgium and for our church members who can be a spiritual strength to others in this very difficult time. We thank our youth for having encouraged many in the city, including the police station, this last Sabbath on Global Youth Day…..may our youth and members continue to provide Christ’s ministry of love and compassion in Total Member Involvement during this traumatic situation. Today, during our General Conference committees, we will earnestly pray for the country of Belgium, our church members and the families affected by this terrible tragedy.”

Adventist News Network (ANN) is the official news service of the denomination’s world headquarters in Washington, DC. Featured image credit: Ssolbergj – self-made. This vector image was created with Inkscape. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3150517.