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Prince Charles had travelled to the Emmanuel Christian Fellowship, a Tamil Christian church established in 1982 in Manor Park on 18th Dec 2019, to express his solidarity with the worshippers during an advent service.

He said: “I’ve come here to stand with this community in remembrance of all those who were killed or whose lives were changed forever in the utterly barbaric attack on churches in Sri Lanka this past Easter day.”

Charles, who at the time of the attacks sent a message of condolence to the Sri Lankan president, went on to say: “The appalling loss of life made Sunday 21st of April the single worst day of violence targeting Christians in the modern era.

“There are no words that can heal the wounds that you and your fellow Christians have endured, but I did so want you all to know just how much I, and so many people in this country, mind about what you’ve suffered and how much we have been thinking of you all.

Prince Charles met a large number of members of the congregation, whose church was established by Englishman Jonathan Eden and is now led by Pastor Kamal Krishnasamy.

With a cup of tea in his hand, Charles chatted to Kamiston Jogathilaraja, 27, originally from Sri Lanka but now living in nearby East Ham, who lost six members of his wider family and four friends in the bombing of St Anthony’s Shrine.

Mr Jogathilaraja said: “Jesus told us to forgive those who do wrong to you and show the other cheek, but even though we did it and are Christians, sometimes it’s hard – because we are human – just to forgive.”

The prince has developed a tradition in the run-up to Christmas of visiting persecuted Christian communities, to listen to their experiences, attend services and show solidarity with their plight.

Before leaving he unveiled a plaque to mark his visit and went on a brief walkabout, meeting a small group of well-wishers who had gathered outside

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