Recent attacks against Christians in south and west Sri Lanka have left several people injured and homes damaged.
This is contained in a report by the Release International (www.releaseinternational.org) a United Kingdom (UK) registered Christian charity adding that on July 19, a mob of about 50 people attacked the homes of five Christian families in Dehiwinna, Badulla district, with clubs and rocks. A grocery shop was also demolished.
Quoting the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), it said that the attackers shouted threats, demanding that Christians leave the area. Several families fled and hid in the jungle for a while.
Release observed that one Christian was badly beaten and required hospital treatment for his injuries and that local police were informed and officers were sent in to patrol the area on subsequent nights – but no arrests have been made.
Further to that, it noted that on July 10, a pastor in Ampara district was hospitalized after being beaten by a Buddhist monk and others. The unnamed pastor from Mount Carmel Church in Keviliyamaduwa had attended a meeting about land distribution convened by the monk – only to be attacked by those present.
“The pastor, who was also later assaulted at his home, was taken to Ampara Hospital with injuries to his arm and severe pains in his stomach. These are not isolated incidents – and in fact NCEASL publishes regular persecution incident summaries,” Release stated.
It said also recounted that on June 18, the temporary building of an Assembly of God church in Nuwara-Eliva district was damaged during the night adding that the pastor of the church has received threats for years.
It stated: “And in Puttlam district, in western Sri Lanka, the Prayer Tower Church in Mahawewa was desecrated with excrement on June 5. Later on the same day, it was then raided by about 200 protesters carrying placards and clubs and demanding the church's closure.”
It continued: “A lay preacher who tried to remonstrate with protesters was beaten. Evangelical Christians especially face violence and opposition in this Buddhist-majority nation.”