Church leaders wounded in attacks on Sri Lankan churches

December 14, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Two church leaders were wounded in separate attacks targeting worship services in Sri Lanka.

Buddhism is the dominant religion in Sri Lanka

Buddhism is the dominant religion in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, December 12, 2012: On Sunday (9 December), a rock was thrown at the pastor of a church in Weeraketiya, Hambanthota district, as a large mob, including numerous Buddhist monks, stormed the building. He was left with severe pain in his lower abdomen.

The attackers overwhelmed eight police officers, who had been sent to the scene to oversee a planned demonstration by the monks against the church.

The mob vandalised church furniture and equipment and also vehicles belonging to church members that were parked outside the building. Children were present during the attack.

The day before the incident, a group of Buddhists, including a number of monks, had visited the pastor and told him that he was not allowed to conduct Christian worship in Weeraketiya without the permission of Buddhist clergy.

When he insisted that it was his constitutional right to do so, the monks falsely claimed that the constitution had now changed and issued the pastor with an ultimatum that either he stopped holding services or else they would destroy the church.

In an earlier incident, a Sri Lankan bishop who has been threatened for speaking out against the regime’s abuses was wounded in an attack on a church in Karusal, Mannar district.

Stones were thrown into the building during a service on 7 September and firecrackers reportedly lit at the scene.

Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, was leading the service at the time and sustained minor injuries. Two young worshippers were assaulted by the attackers when they went outside to investigate.

The bishop has been a leading figure in defending the rights of the Tamil people in north and east Sri Lanka, who suffered grave abuses during the 26-year long civil war in which the government fought the Tamil Tigers. Open threats have consequently been made against him.

– barnabas team

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.