Baptists worldwide sent their condolences to the victims of the Madrid railway bombing on March 11, through prayers, letters and memorial services over the March 13-14 weekend.
"We join you in mourning the death and injury of so many innocent people. Please know that we hold these victims, their families and the people of Spain in our prayers. In prayer we ask the Spirit of God to anoint the churches of the Union of Evangelical Baptists of Spain with great compassion and power, said Reid Trulson, American Baptist Churchs International Ministries area director for Europe and the Middle East, in a message to Manuel Sarrias Martinez, general secretary of the Union of Evangelical Baptists of Spain.
With a renewed strength that comes from above, may you bring to those around you the good news of forgiveness, salvation and healing in Jesus Christ our Lord, wrote Trulson, who also noted that many global Baptists encouraged the ABC after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
Sarrias responded to the letter by saying that Spanish Baptists share a deep sense of shock and sadness, and have joined together with other evangelical Christians in Spain to publicly denounce the use of violence by any means, according to the ABC.
The President of the Baptist World Alliance, Billy Kim, the General Secretary of the BWA, Denton Lotz, the President of the European Baptist Federation, Billy Taranger, and the General Secretary, Theo Angelov of the EBF, also sent a letter of sympathy to Sarrias.
It was with great sorrow that we have learned of the tragic death of so many innocent people. Please accept the sympathy of the Baptist World Alliance and the European Baptist Federation, they wrote.
We shall call upon our people worldwide to pray for the loved ones of those so tragically killed. We shall pray for peace and reconciliation in Spain," the letter stated. "As Christian people we abhor all violence and terrorism. Please accept our deepest sympathy for you and the Spanish people!
The Rev. Raul Ruiz, International Ministries' area director for Spain and Portugal, said, "We are saddened and shocked by the horrible and senseless acts committed against the people of Spain. We have been in contact with our Baptist brothers and sisters in Spain and have shared with them our concern and our willingness to help. Please pray for them as they face the difficult task of being light in the midst of so much darkness."
The International Ministries executive director for the ABC, the Rev. Hector Cortez, shared similar sentiments.
"It is with a profound sense of shock and pain that we have learned of these tragic events," said Cortez.
In a message written from Madrid to International Ministries, American Baptist missionary Samuel Escobar reported that thankfully, God protected the members of the denomination.
Said Escobar: "We thank God for protection, and we ask your prayers that God's people may be able to offer comfort and help to the many hurting people in this country,"