(Compass) – Unknown assailants set fire to St. Michaels Catholic Church in Katuwana, Homogama , Sri Lanka , in the early hours of December 19. Created using gas cylinders and rubber tires, the fire damaged pews, an organ, the altar and church statues. A local priest, Father Chaminda Wanigasena, said no one was injured in the pre-dawn attack, as no priests were resident in the building. Several violent attacks on churches occurred last Christmas following the funeral of a senior Buddhist monk, Ven. Gangodawila Soma, a vocal supporter of the campaign to introduce anti-conversion laws in Sri Lanka . Earlier this month, President Chandrika Kumaratunga ordered police guards for all vulnerable churches, saying she would hold local police officers personally responsible if a church was attacked over the Christmas season.