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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.


 

January - December 2009

Incident Reports >>

Date

Area

Church

Description

January - March 2009

Bulathkohupitiya (Kegalle District)

Assembly of God

Congregation threatened and prevented from attending Church During the past 3 months, this Church which has a congregation of about 80 people has come under intense pressure and threat. Members of the congregation are threatened and verbally abused by mobs and prevented from attending the Sunday worship service. As a result of these threats, it has become near impossible for the Church to meet for worship. Only 8 members were able to attend the last service. The instigators of these threats and Buddhist monks from the area have sent a petition to the Ministry of Religious Affairs against the Church's existence. They have also held meetings in the village to discuss closing down the Church.
The pastor and workers say they are being watched and monitored by people appointed by this same group. A tense situation prevails and the Chrisitan community are unable to engage in worship.

21st - 22nd March 2009

Udugampola (Gampaha District)

Calvary Prayer Centre

Threats and posters against Church

The Church had received information that a protest rally is being organized against the church on Sunday the 22nd March 2009. Hand written posters carrying statements inciting the masses against the Christians were put up in and around the Udugampola town and close to the Church. The posters carried utterly false allegations that the Church was engaged in kidnapping youth.A Police entry was made by the Pastor, seeking protection. On Sunday 22nd March 2009 the Church was able to conduct the worship service without any disturbance and the Police had sent a mobile patrol to deter any possible attack. 

25th March 2009

Pannala (Kurunegala District)

Vineyard Community Church

Pastor and worker attacked with macheteAt approximately 7.00p.m. last night, the assistant pastor and a worker were attacked by a man wielding a machetes. The attacker entered the church building through the back door which was not locked, taking the two pastoral workers by surprise. During the brutal attack which had lasted about 10 minutes, they sustained cut wounds to the head, lips, hands and arms. There was no one else around to help them. After the attacker left, the two wounded and bleeding men set off on foot seeking medical help at the closest hospital in Makandura. They were transferred to the Government Hospital in Colombo for further treatment.

A complaint has been made to the Pannala Police and according to the senior pastor, they have visited the scene of the crime. No arrests have been made so far.

The church suspects this same attacker was behind previous incidents where the electricity meter of the church was burned and the care taker of the church was attacked. 

5th April 2009

Pepiliyana, Dehiwela (Colombo District) 

Methodist Church

Gang breaks in to Church and steals documentsAn unidentified gang broke in through the back door and windows of this 150 year old church during the night. The intruders looted valuable musical instruments, Bibles, Hymn Books and other documents including Baptism and marriage records. The attackers took away all church documents and records from the church office. They were seen leaving the scene during the early hours of the morning in a white coloured van.

Although items of value were also taken, church sources say the deliberate removal of church records and documents which are of no monetary value indicate the motive was not robbery. The incident occurred the same night after the church celebrated Palm Sunday with a traditional procession.

The Boralasgamuwa Police are investigating.

April 2009

Kommatalamadu and Amanthanaveli, Vakari (Batticaloa District)

Several church congregations

Christians threatenedChristians from have been experiencing difficulty to meet together for worship due to threats. Early this week, a pastoral worker visiting Christian families was threatened and chased away by the majority Hindu villagers.

8th - 13th April 2009 

Jeevanaloka Sabhawa 
Weeraketiya (Hambanthota District)
 

 

Pastor threatened with death 

 

8th April

 

Four men stood outside the house of the pastor shouting “Christian come out” while the pastor's wife and two children were alone at home. They were frightened by the shouts of the men who were threatening to kill the pastor. Receiving a phone call from his terrified wife, The pastor immediately returned home fearing for the safety of his family. A short while later he received a telephone call from the man who led the gang, threatening him with death unless he left the village by morning. He continued to harass the family with several threatening calls during the next few hours. 

Later that same night the same man pounded on their front door shouting abuse and threats demanding the pastor to come outside. Going by the common knowledge in the village that this man possessed weapons and his own boasts that he is not afraid to use them, the pastor attempted to reason with him and persuade him to leave and not terrify his children. However the intruder continued his verbal abuse until the police who were called in arrived and placed him under arrest. 

 

9th April 

 

After his release from police custody, the intruder of the previous night initiated a petition against the church with the assistance of other villagers and several Buddhist temples around the area. The house owner of the pastor was threatened to evict the family or face serious damage to his house. The pastor's frightened children are temporarily relocated for safety.

 

10th & 12th April

 

The church cancelled Good Friday and Easter Sunday worship services, as a precautionary measure.

 

13th April

 

News reaches the pastor of a plot to attack him while on his way to pick up his children and the pastor cancels his journey.

7th June 2009
 

Thalvapadu, Mannar District

Apostolic Church

Church Dedication Service disrupted by mobThe Apostolic church in Mannar was celebrating the dedication of their newly constructed church building with a service of dedication. While the service was in progress, a mob of about 300 persons arrived. They entered the premises, threatened the pastors and congregation and ordering they stop the service. Within about 15 minutes, the attackers destroyed the structure and threw the bricks and roofing sheets on to an adjacent land.7 attackers were arrested and action has been filed in the local Magistrates Court.

mid June 2009
 

Minneriya, Polonnaruwa District

Roman Catholic Church

Statue damagedA Catholic statue placed at the Ayurveda junction was smashed. Another smaller statue was removed from the same location and later found broken near the Parakrama Samudra tank. 

23rd June 2009

Polonnaruwa District
 

Foursquare Gospel Church

Pastor waylaid and attacked by gangThe pastor of the church was driving home at approximately 10.30 pm after attending a prayer meeting when he was stopped by a group of men riding motorcycles near the Parakrama samudra bund. The men called out to him “pastor, pastor”. Thinking they were known to him, the pastor stopped his car. As soon as he rolled down the window, the assailants began to attack him with knives. He succeeded in avoiding their attempts to slash his neck by putting up his arms but sustained cuts on his arms. The assailants also caused damage to the windscreen and body of the car. Bleeding and injured, the pastor escaped by driving way and seeking help.An entry was made in the Polonnaruwa police and the Police are conducting inquiries. The Pastor was treated for cuts and was provided police protection.

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