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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.


 

November - December 2006

Incident Reports >>

Date

Area

Church

Description

12th November

Yakkala (Gampaha District)

Assembly of God

While the Pastor was preparing for the Sunday morning worship service, he noticed that his congregation members were not present. Only two members had arrived early in the morning. It was then that he heard that there were mobs on the road, threatening the congregation members and preventing them from coming for the service. Anti-Christian posters had appeared on walls and there was a vary large mob of over 100 gathered on the road. With them were 4 Buddhist monks. The monks sat across the road and refused to leave. Some of the men were armed with clubs, suggesting the motive for the gathering was not entirely peaceful. Christians who attempted to attend the service were accosted, threatened and verbally abused in foul language.

The Pastor called the Police for assistance, but only 2 Policemen arrived. They were unable to control or disperse the crowd or the monks who were sitting on the road. They demanded that the Church must close down. Later, the Police called for re-enforcements twice and about 12 Police officers arrived. However, the mob and the monks remained. Witnesses say that when the Police arrived, the men who were carrying clubs threw them away surreptiously.

12th November

Nawalapitiya (District of Kandy)

Mizpah Prayer Ministry

The congregation was gathered for the Sunday service at 9 am. At approximately  10.30 am, half way through the service, a mob of about 35 persons including about 12 Buddhist monks and a Local Government (Provincial Council) Member walked in and disrupted the service. They demanded that the service must be stopped immediately. The congregation was jeered and scolded using very abusive language.  "We were threatened that if we gathered together for worship again, the building will be flattened" says the Pastor. The mob chased the congregation away and recorded video footage and photographs of the scene.

The mob had with them 2 persons who identified themselves as journalists, giving the names, Nimal Bandara of the Ravaya newspaper and Weeraratne from the Lankadeepa newspaper.

A member of the congregation called the Police, however, by the time the Police arrived, the mob had left. The mob was there for about 1 hour. Later they returned, armed with a wooden club. They threatened the Christian workers who were still there and hit one of them. They also broke some chairs.

A formal complaint was made to the Police (entry no: CIB I 126/144). No arrests have been made.

12th November

Anamaduwa (District of Puttlam)

Prayer Tower

Four members of the Church attended a funeral of a Church member. When they were on the way back, a group of several men accosted them and threatened them not to come back to the village. The attackers hit them with their fists and also threw rocks at them. A Police entry was made by the Pastor of the Church. At the Police inquiry, the attackers accused the Church of disturbing the neighbours with loud noise during worship. However, the Pastor rejected this accusation, explaining that the worship service was held only once a week, for one hour. He further stated that the neighbours were all Christians and therefore the accusation of creating a loud noise is baseless.

The parties agreed to settle the matter amicably. The attackers promised not to harass the Church members again.

16th November

Yakkala (District of (Gampaha)

Assembly of God

A young woman was visiting the home of the Pastor and his wife in the morning, for prayer. While she was on the road, close to the house of the pastor, a man threw a container of black oil (burnt oil) on her. She has made a complaint to the Police, identifying the attacker.

22nd November

Mawatura (District of Gampola)

Lighthouse Church

At approximately 8 pm, the Church came under attack with some persons throwing rocks at the Church. The Pastor and a Church worker were inside the Church at that time. They heard an explosion and glass shattering from the front of the Church. Later they found that the front window was broken and the glass was shattered. Some of the rocks came in through the roof and the Church worker was hit on the head by a crashing rock. The pastor rushed the worker to the Gampola General hospital, as he was bleeding profusely from his head. He is now warded at the hospital, undergoing treatment.

The Church roof and window were damaged. A complaint has been made to the Police regarding this incident.

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