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Editorial: Message of hope

Some actions transcend language and culture. Molham and Reverend Alex Constable share a high five.
Some actions transcend language and culture. Molham and Reverend Alex Constable share a high five.

The central message of Easter has always been one of hope.

Over the past 2,000 years, war, evil deeds and despots often subverted that message. But good has usually triumphed; humanity has generally stumbled towards a better tomorrow.

Today, war looms in Syria and North Korea, while other regional conflicts are simmering. Barriers remain, walls are going up, refugees are resented, and hunger and poverty are constant plagues.

Canadian soldiers suffered and died from gas warfare in 1917. And this month we see horrific chemical attacks on women and children in Syria. Has nothing changed?

Various radical groups continue to use terror as the way to achieve distorted goals. We see extremism gripping the agenda in many nations, trying to deny hope for so many.

A young Pakistani woman lobbying for equality is shot by a gunman who preaches intolerance. (She was honoured in Canada on Wednesday.) Coptic Christians celebrating Palm Sunday in Egypt are killed by cowards who preach hate.

Muslims praying in a Quebec mosque are gunned down by an evil creed. But from that tragedy, people across this country and around the world came together and formed communities of solidarity.

The IRA finally realized bombs wouldn’t solve problems in Northern Ireland. Peace talks did. The country emerged from its time of troubles.

When the cold war ended in Europe, we hoped it dawned a new age of freedom. It’s now under threat. We thought the Arab Spring would help bring democracy and peace. But radical elements halted the message of hope.

Instead of moving towards a global community living in harmony, we are becoming more fractured. We can’t seem to learn lessons from history.

Humanity must provide hope and not ignore the plight of migrants and refugees who are fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice.

As billions of people around the world prepare to celebrate Easter, or at least enjoy a break this week, it’s a good time to ponder the message of the season.

The vast majority of people on this planet — no matter their personal or religious beliefs — are good and decent. They wish to live in peace, do well by their neighbour, protect the planet, find a rewarding job and hopefully leave this world a better place.

Where war and fear abound and peace is hard to find, it’s because hope begins to slip away.

Everyone suffers personal tragedies. But we hope for a better tomorrow. Easter tells us that fear and terror and death is not the end of the story.
Spring always holds the promise of renewed hope.

The Easter proclamation that hope “dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty,” is a message for us all.

Goodwill triumphs.

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