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Incident Reports

The following are some of the incidents of violence against Christians since Christmas 2003. Many others have gone unreported.


 

February 2004

Incident Reports >>

Date

Area

Church

Description

1st Feb.

Moratuwa

Ceylon Pentecostal Mission

The Church was stoned, damaging a few windows.

2nd Feb.

Wiranagama, Dimbulagala - Polonnaruwa

"Suwa Dahara" Independent church

The lady pastoral worker has been ministering for 18years. Monks and some local government officials held a public meeting in a school, demanding services must be stopped. Loudspeakers were used to make derogatory statements about pastor. Services stopped. Police entry made.

4th Feb onwards

Nivithigala police division

A.O.G.

From the 4th onwards, every other day the pastor's home is stoned at night. On 7th Feb the Police was informed. Police advised that if services are not stopped, they cannot be responsible for safety. On 15th night, the house was stoned during the entire night."

5th & 6th Feb.

Wiranagama, Dimbulagala - Polonnaruwa

"Suwa Dahara" Independent church

Homes of parishioners visited by gangs threatening them.

7th Feb.

Anuradhapura

A.O.G.

During the night, a group of men scaled the wall in to the Church premises and threw burnt engine oil, excreta and fire crackers, desecrating the Church. The curtains caught fire from the fire crackers but it was put out by workers. Police entry made & Police protection sought. Police guard not provided. Mobile Police unit asked to check the place while on patrol during the night.

9th Feb.

Kebethigollawa, Anuradhapura.

World Vision Office

More than a dozen men hurled petrol bombs at a building used by WV partners. Media reports indicate that 9 arrests have been made, including 3 Buddhist monks and a University professor.

9th & 10th Feb.

Kattuwa, Negombo

Hebron Church

During the night, between 10 and 11 pm, about 5 men dressed in black arrived at the Church, shouting threats and obscenities.

14th Feb.

Katugasthota, Nuwara

Royal Ministries

Three workers from the Church visiting a parishioner's home in Doragamuwa village were taken to the village temple. The temple bell was rung, summoning the villagers. The workers were assaulted brutally. The Pastor came to their rescue. All four were taken to the Wattegama Police station and it is reported that they were locked up & released the following day. At that time, a reason for the detention was not given by the police.

14th Feb.

Kattuwa, Negombo

Hebron Church

Church attacked at night by a mob of about 5 people. Property damaged. Police was informed & a police guard has been in place since.

15th Feb.

Boraluwewa, Kobeiganay,
Kurunegala Dist.

Apostolic Church

Continuous threats to close the Church & leave the village. On the 28th of January 2004, the O.I.C. of the Police warned not to call the police if the church is attacked.


Boraluwewa Apostolic Church after the attack of 15th Feb.
Graffiti says, "The church is no more."

On the 15th Feb. receiving information that the Church was marked for attack that night, the senior pastor called the Police at 7.30 pm. At 8 pm again, a Pastor from Anuradhapura called the Police with the same information. However, the Police did not provide protection or investigate. (It is reported that the Police could have arrived at the scene within 20 minutes). That night at about 9.30 pm a large crowd of about 100 persons arrived with 2 vehicles. The Church and the workers living quarters were completely demolished. Concrete pillars were torn down. All belongings were set on fire. The worker and his pregnant wife escaped with just the clothes on their backs. They lost all their personal belongings. The Police were again alerted that the Church was under attack & on fire. The worker & his wife are evacuated to a safe house.

Police have since arrested 5 persons. Police entry no. IB 285/89 of 16th Feb 2004 Kobeigana police station.

Christians in the area are under pressure and threat from villagers to secure the release of those arrested. The Parishioner living adjoining the Church property has been threatened that his home will be destroyed. His family are being prevented from leaving the house to make a Police complaint.

Senior pastors from the Apostolic Church, Pastors from neighbouring Churches, NCEASL staff and others are unable to visit the site as the villagers are preventing anyone from entering the area.

15th Feb.

Boraluwewa, Kobeiganay,
Kurunegala Dist.

Gethsemane Church

The mob that set fire & destroyed the Apostolic Church also demolished the small cadjan structure where the Gethsemane Church meet.

15th Feb.

Kurundugaha Hathapma - Anuruddhagama (Karandeniya), Galle.

Calvary Church

The home where the Calvary Church parishioners meet was attacked at night. The gang of about 10 were armed with 5 swords and a gun. The homeowner was attacked with a sword, thankfully he escaped with a minor injury to his hand. The homeowner and his 3 children ran away and hid in the nearby thicket. His wife remained trapped in the house. the intruders threatened her with death if the services are continued. Furniture, pots & pants etc belonging to this poor family were destroyed. The homeowner remained hidden until morning. The mob returned at about 12 mid night looking for him. In the morning, the Elpitiya police were informed. The family have asked for a police guard as the gang had threatened to return. Police guard has not been provided. Police entry no. 1B 113/113/14013 of 16th Feb 2004.

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