Methodist Prayer Center Attacked on Palm Sunday in Sri Lanka

04/18/2019 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – A Methodist Prayer Center in Sri Lanka was attacked by a mob of 25 young people on Palm Sunday. According to local Christians, this is not the first time they have been harassed by intolerant mobs.

On Sunday, April 14, Bishop Asiri Perera, President of the Methodist Church, arrived at the Koombichchankulam Methodist Center, located approximately 11 kilometers outside of the town of Anuradhapura. There, Bishop Perera was scheduled to lead a Palm Sunday worship service.

Upon arrival, Bishop Perera was confronted by a mob of 25 young people who told the bishop to leave or face severe consequences. Bishop Perera refused to leave and managed to get inside of the prayer center where he joined church members awaiting the worship service.

As Bishop Perera was leading the worship service, the mob pelted the prayer center with stones and firecrackers. Eventually, the mob locked the Christians inside the prayer center and refused to release them.

The Christians called local police and were released after an hour and a half when the police finally arrived. The mob was still present when the police freed the Christians.

This is not the first time,” Bishop Perera said in a video posted on social media. According to Bishop Perera, the Koombichchankulam center has been regularly harassed since February 2019.

There are also previous complaints for which nothing much has happened,” Bishop Perera explained on social media. “There, we were promised that we will be given protection to do our worship in that place. But that did not materialize until I called for police intervention.

According to NCEASL, a leading evangelical organization in Sri Lanka, Christians have endured 35 religious freedom violations in just the first three and a half months of 2019. This marks a significant rise in religious intolerance experienced by Sri Lanka’s Christians in recent years.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.

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