05/06/2019 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – The head of Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church has appealed for calm following clashes between Christians and Muslims in Negombo. Approximately 25 miles north of Colombo, Negombo is home to St. Sebastian’s Church which was one of three churches bombed by extremists on Easter Sunday.
According to reports, hundreds of security forces have been dispatched to Negombo to impose a curfew after Muslim-owned shops, homes, and vehicles were damaged in clashes between Muslims and Christians. Two arrests have been made in connection with the clashes and police claim the violence was sparked off by an alcohol-fueled dispute between two groups.
“I appeal to all Catholic and Christian brothers and sisters not to hurt even a single Muslim person because they are our brothers, because they are part of our religious culture,” Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, said in a video message. “Therefore please avoid hurting them and try to create a better spirit of understanding and good relations between all the communities of Sri Lanka.”
St. Sebastian’s Church was among the worst hit locations attacked by extremists on Easter Sunday. According to local reports, more than 100 Christians were killed when a suicide bomber attacked the church while an Easter Sunday service was being held.
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