Sri Lankan church stoned and Christians threatened in new spate of attacks

26 April 2018

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Accounts of persecution compiled by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka in late March and early April recorded several new incidents, adding to the ongoing pattern of persecution and church attacks, including a stoning attack on a church, demands to halt worship, and anti-Christian flyposting.

The pastor of a church, in Kandy District Central Province, and his wife and three children awoke in the early hours of 26 March to the sound of stones bombarding the church building next to their home. A number of large stones were found after the attack, which caused extensive damage to the church roof.

In another incident reported on 24 February, the owner of a church building in Makumbura, Colombo District, Western Province was accosted by the chief monk of local Buddhist temple while a Sunday service was in progress, demanding that he put a stop to all Christian worship in his premises.

The atmosphere of intimidation was further heightened when a number threatening posters were calling for open attacks on Christian “fundamentalists” were placed around a village on 24 February in Kalutara district, Western Province.

Sri Lanka is a majority-Buddhist country with Christians forming eight percent of the population. The country’s constitution gives “foremost place” to Buddhism. Christians face frequent persecution, commonly from Buddhist monks and, in the North East of the country. Attacks have also been led by Hindus. Authorities discriminate against Christians, often claiming (falsely) that churches are legally required to register in order to hold services.

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