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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 2012

Incident Reports >>

 

 

Date

Area

Church

Description

20 - 27 February
2012

 Ambalangoda (Galle District)

 Assemblies of God

On 20th February a large group of about 30 monks came to the house of the pastor and threatened him not to convert Buddhists. The pastor was assaulted by a Buddhist monk. The monks issued an ultimatum for the pastor and his family to leave the village or face death. On 27th February, during an inquiry on the incident, a large crowd together with Buddhist monks gathered at the entrance to the Police station and protested against the church. Under duress, the pastor agreed to stop worship services but refused to leave his village.  

11th March 2012

 Kotiyakumbura (Kegalle District)

 Assemblies of God

The church was stoned by unidentified assailants at approximately mid night, causing damage to the roof. 

18th March 2012

 
 Habarana (Anuradhapura District)
 
 Assemblies of God
 
A church worker was visited by a Buddhist monk who told her to stop having Bible lessons in her home. She was told that if she failed to comply, other means can be used to stop her (inferring violence). She was advised by the Police to stop any religious activity and warned not to hold worship activities even in secret. In the face of mounting pressure and not wanting to endanger the landlord and his property, the church worker has since moved from the house. 
 
 
21st March 2012
 
Kalutara (Kalutara District)
 
Church of the Foursquare Gospel

The Buddhist monk of a temple in the area visited a school in the Kalutara area and with the principal’s consent gathered the Christian children and questioned the children as to which church they attended. A 14 year old girl who is from the Foursquare church was singled out and taken to the principal’s office for questioning. She was told by the monk to stop attending church and to attend the temple Daham Pasala. She was also pressed to divulge where they meet for prayer. 
 
 
3rd
April
2012
 
 Kurunegala (Kurunegala District)
 
 
 Assemblies of God
 
The name board of the 30 year old church was found damaged and broken during the night.

29th
April
2012

 Kaniya (Trincomalee District)

 Holy Prayer Chapel (Independent church)

 
The Sunday worship service was disrupted at about 9 a.m. by a group of about 10 youth a news reporter and 4 Buddhist monks. They forcibly entered the church premises and one of the monks who heads a prominent Buddhist temple scolded the pastor in abusive language and attempted to physically assault him. The cross at the front of the church was vandalised and removed by the attackers. The pastor was threatened with arson if he continues the service. The monks threatened the church members and said if they wished to worship, they could attend the services of the Catholic Church.
 
 
13th
May
2012
 
Madampe (Puttlam District)
 
 Calvary Pamula  Namaskara  Sabhawa (Independent church)

While the church members were engaged in Sunday worship, a few persons entered the premises and threatened the pastor to stop the worship service. However, the devotees continued to worship. A short while later, a large mob of about 100 persons and a Buddhist monk stormed in and assaulted several church members causing injury and caused damage to furniture and the building. The Police arrived on the scene later and advised the worship services to be discontinued. The pastor under pressure signed a document agreeing to stop the services. 
 

 
26th
May
2012

 
Mahawewa (Puttlam District)
 
 Prayer Tower  Church (Independent church)

Access road to church obstructed and church was stoned. 28th May and 3rd June – attackers continued to obstruct the roadway and prevent anyone from coming to the church. On 5th authorities arrived at the church with some persons from a neighbouring village and examined the church. After examining the premises the officials from the officials advised the following Sunday’s service to be cancelled.  On 8th June members from 3 families who attended a prayer meeting at the church an alternate road were accosted by a mob on their way back home. Their vehicle was attacked by about 10 persons armed with clubs and knives. The driver of the vehicle was beaten severely and his wife who was traveling with him was dragged out of the vehicle and her gold necklace was snatched. A 2 year old child sitting in the back seat with his mother was hit on the head with a stone and sustained a head injury. The victims were threatened at knife point not to return to the church. During this attack, a larger mob of about 30 persons entered the church premises and caused damage to the building. 
 
 
1st
July
2012
 
Raththota (Matale District)
 
 Church of the  Foursquare Gospel

While the pastor and some church members were engaged in a prayer meeting at the residence of one member at approximately 4.30 p.m., a mob of about 15 persons led by 2 Buddhist monks forcibly entered the premises disrupting the prayer meeting. One church member was physically assaulted by one of the monks. The others present were verbally abused and threatened, after which the mob dispersed. The meeting was discontinued and the pastor and some of the church members boarded a bus to return to their respective homes. Some members of the mob followed the bus on motor cycles, stopped and boarded the bus and assaulted the pastor and another church member. They were threatened to discontinue their prayer meetings. 
 
 
9th
July
2012

 Aralaganwila (Polonnaruwa)

 Bridge of Hope  Center - Believers  Church (Independent church)

At approximately 1.30 a.m., unidentified persons entered the premises of the Centre constructed by the church which has been functioning as a tuition centre providing free tuition classes for school children in the area, as a social service. The building was demolished by the attackers by cutting down the wooden pillars that supported the structure.

22nd
July
2012

 Darga Town, Aluthgama (Galle District)

 Assemblies of God

2 young female church workers a were attacked by a mob of around 20 men at around 6pm while visiting a church member. They were verbally abused and forcibly taken to the Buddhist temple in the village. At the temple, they were accused forcefully converting Buddhists. On 23rd July, about 30 Christian families were visited by Buddhist monks and instructed to stop going to church and to return to the Buddhist temple for worship. On 29th July the pastor, his family and other devotees were engaged in Sunday morning worship when at approximately 9 a.m. 15 Buddhist monks and a crowd of over 50 persons forcibly entered the premises. They dragged the pastor out and demanded that he sends out all the worshippers. The attackers beat the pastors as well as the worshippers. Money belonging to the victims as well as Bibles and books were snatched by the attackers. 
 

24th
July
2012

 Karakkuwa College, Madampe (Puttlam District)

 -

At approximately 8 a.m., during the morning prayers at a Roman Catholic school, the Deputy Principal of the school asked the Protestant Christian students to line up. About 20 Protestant Christian students were subjected to corporal punishment by the School Deputy Principal who scolded them for being non-Roman Catholic and accused them of being fundamentalists. 


1st August 2012

 Pokunawita, Horana (Kalutara District)
 

The pastor's house was attacked at night. The assailants broke all the windows in the house, smashing them with clubs. 
 

First week of August 2012
 
 Divulapitiya (Gampaha District)
 
Assemblies of God

The pastor and his wife were on their way home after visiting a church member when they were accosted by a man who asked if he is a pastor. The man began to verbally abuse the couple, threatened them to leave the area and attempted to beat the pastor. 
 

5th & 19th August 2012

 Morgahahena (Kalutara District)

 Jeevandiya Church (Independent church)

A mob of about 30 men led by 4 Buddhist monks forcibly entered the premises and disrupted the worship service and threatened to set the he church on fire. The worshippers were forced to leave the premises. 
 

9th August 2012

 Deniyaya (Matara District)

 Assemblies of God
 
The Pastor and his wife were attacked by 40 men and Buddhist monks while visiting a member family of the church. The pastor was beaten by the men. They accused him of spreading Christianity and threatened to kill him if he did not stop his Christian ministry.
 
On 18th August a large mob arrived at the house of the pastor. The mob hurled verbal abuse but left without causing any physical harm to the family. The pastor and his family have been compelled move away from their home.
 

9th August 2012
 
Deniyaya (Matara District)

 Methodist Church

Soon after the above incident of assault, the same persons made their way to the home of a lady Christian worker. She was threatened by them to leave the house before Monday. They scolded her in abusive language. Another church worker who arrived at the scene was also threatened and his ID card was taken. 
 
Mid August Deniyaya (Matara District)  Calvary Church Church warned against holding worship service.

 
19th August Deniyaya (Matara District)  Seventh Day Adventist Church
At approximately 3.30 p.m., a group of about 30 persons with 2 Buddhist monks forcibly entered the premises of the church, tore down the church banner and replaced it with a Buddhist banner. They also raised Buddhist flags around the premises declaring the place a Buddhist place of worship. 
 
10th
October  
2012
Bonthupitiya (Kalutara District)  Assemblies of God The pastor, his spouse and two church workers were accosted by a mob while returning home after attending a prayer meeting. The incident occurred at approximately 10.45 p.m. They were beaten by 6 attackers armed with rods and clubs. The assailants shouted threats to stop Christian worship services and not to return to the village of Bothupitiya.
 
14th
October
2012
Naula (Matale District)  Assemblies of God
At approximately 6p.m., a mob of about 40 persons led by 4 Buddhist monks forcibly entered the pastor’s residence and questioned him on the legality of the church and threatened with death if he did not stop worship services. Some members of the mob took photographs of the pastor, his family and the premises forcibly, intimidating the pastor and his family. 
 
18th
October
2012
Mahawewa (Puttlam District)  Prayer Tower  Church  (Independent  church) The church received a letter from the authorities, claiming the church to be an unauthorized building and ordering its closure. 
19th -23rd October
2012
Morakottanchenai (Batticaloa District)   Living Voice of Life  (Independent church)
At approximately 11a.m., area community leaders visited the pastors’ residence, questioning him on the legality of the church. The pastor was threatened with violence in the event he does not stop conducting worship services.  
 
On 20th October a demonstration against the church was held by villagers.
 
On 21st October a group of about 10 villagers forcibly entered the premises, shouting that the church is an illegal entity.                                                                                             
26th-27th October
2012
Balangoda (Ratnapura District)   Siloam Evangelical  Mission  (Independent  church)
At approximately 10.30 a.m., whilst a prayer meeting was in progress, 2 police officers arrived and inquired into a complaint that the meeting was causing noise pollution. The police cautioned the pastor to be careful, as there was information of a group including some Buddhist monks awaiting an opportunity to attack him. 
 
On 27th October at approximately 4.30 p.m., a mob of about fifteen persons led by Buddhist attacked the church, destroying property.
 
28th
October
2012
Ethangama, Kalutara South (Kalutara District)   Jesus with us  Prayer Ministry  (Independent  church)
At approximately 9.30 a.m., just before the Sunday worship commenced a mob led by 5 Buddhist monks stormed a church warning against the holding of Christian service. Church property was also destroyed.
The pastor has stopped holding worship services and has been compelled to leave the premises due to persecution.
 
Early November
Sevanapitiya, (Polonnaruwa District) 
 Independent church A Christian worker and his family were threatened by Buddhist monks to leave the village. 

2nd
November 2012


Aluwihara (Matale District) 

Praise Prayer Lanka  Church  (Independent  church)

At approximately 6 p.m., while the pastor while on visitation, was accosted and assaulted by 5 persons. The assailants accused him of unethical conversions and threatened him with death.  
 
11th-26th November 2012 Habarana (Anuradhapura District)
 
 Baptist Church
On the 11th November, the church was engaged in a prayer meeting when at approximately 7.30 p.m., a large mob of about 100 persons with 2 Buddhist monks entered and disrupted the prayer meeting. They claimed the church to be illegal and the pastor was threatened with death if he did not stop worship activity. The pastor also received letters from the authorities stating that the church was an unauthorized place of worship according to a state circular.
 
25th November 2012 Morakottanchenai (Batticaloa District)    Living voice of Life  (Independent  church) The temporary shelter used by the church members for worship was attacked by unidentified persons during the night. 
 
5th December 2012 Middenniya (Hambanthota District)   Assemblies of God At approximately 11.15 p.m., two unidentified men forcibly entered the premises of the pastor. They shouted threats to discontinue worship services or face death. The men damaged property and left a while later. 
 
8th-9th December 2012  Weeraketiya (Hambanthota District)  Jeevanalokaya  Sabhawa  (Independent  church)
On 8th December a group of Buddhist monks and lay persons visited the pastor and told him that he cannot conduct Christian worship in the area without permission from the Buddhist clergy. The monks issued an ultimatum to the pastor to stop the church or else they will destroy the church. The next day a large mob including many Buddhist monks stormed the premises. The mob caused serious damage to furniture and equipment within the building as well as to vehicles belonging to church members. The pastor was injured in the incident.
 
16th December 2012  Mahena, Warakapola, (Kegalle District)   Church of Grace (Independent  church)
While the pastor, his wife and several others were engaged in a time of prayer at his residence, a large mob led by dozens of Buddhist monks entered the house hurling verbal abuse. The mob assaulted the pastor, his wife and others who were present. The mob also destroyed property.
 
23rd December 2012  Sevanapitiya, (Polonnaruwa District)
 Independent church 
A prayer meeting held in the residence of a Christian worker to celebrate his birthday was disrupted by a violent attack carried out by a group of people including two Buddhist monks. The assailants beat up the few gathered for the prayer meeting.

 

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