06/27/2019 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – Following the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lanka earlier this year, churches are slowly beginning the process of reopening for worship. Many churches remain concerned about security, and are evaluating security strategies which would be in place for any future emergencies.
The 2019 Easter bombings in Sri Lanka killed approximately 253 people and injured 500. ISIS took responsibility of the attacks, which targeted both churches and hotels. The incident was deeply scarring for the country’s Christian community. Churches continue to limit activities and services. For example, St. Anthony’s church in Gampaha celebrated their annual feast but canceled the procession. Weekday church services have also resumed in the country, but there is tight security at the entrances and attendance is very low.
Some Catholic private and government schools that were closed after the bombing have since reopened. However, students are often searched and some are required to wear transparent bags.
The fear of future attacks continues because ISIS has made it clear that they are interested in the Indian Ocean region following their territorial losses in Syria and Iraq. The Easter bombings is viewed as a warning that ISIS has set its sights on Sri Lanka, and that Christians must take extra precaution in their faith practice.
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