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ICC (04/25/06) – On Sunday the 23rd April, 2006, the believers belonging to the Methodist Church in Piliyandala (South East of Colombo) numbering about 20 persons, gathered together for their regular Sunday morning service.

Due to the incidents that had taken place during the last few weeks, the local Police had stationed 3 Police Constables outside of the Church for the entire duration of the service. Shortly after the worship service commenced, some individuals in a three wheeler (taxi) fitted with load speakers started to shout anti Christian slogans and calling the people living nearby rally against these ‘Anti Buddhist’ Christians.

This brought together a group of about 100 individuals from the surrounding areas. The group then started shouting anti Christian slogans and marching around on the streets adjoining the Church. Although this group attempted to force themselves into the Church, they were prevented from doing so by the Police. In the midst of the chaos, 2 monks accompanied by another man entered the Church and started to shout and demand that the worship service be stopped immediately. At this time the Police intervened and requested the Reverends present to finish the service as soon as possible as the situation was getting out of hand. Not wanting to aggravate the situation, the Reverends finished the service as early as possible.

In the meantime, the group that was outside had let out the air from the tires of the vehicles parked outside the Church. They had also toppled the motorbikes and let out the petrol from the tanks and taken the helmets. The windshields of the car and the van used by the Reverends and the ministry team accompanying them had been smashed.

The group agreed to return the helmets to the believers after the Police spoke to them. As they were leaving the Church, one of the Reverends was slapped on the face by a person in the crowd and another person pinched the cheek of the female Evangelistic and said, “She is the cause of all this trouble”.

The other Revered was struck below the knee with a flag pole (which was used to hoist the Buddhist flag) as he was getting on to his motorbike.

On Tuesday (24th April) evening the Evangelistic Worker had been notified that he had to appear in court on Wednesday morning (25th April) regarding the incident that took place on Sunday.