10/08/2019 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – A Christian advocacy group in Sri Lanka reports that the island nation’s Christian community has endured several instances of violence and intimidation in the past two weeks. This series of incidents comes only five months after ISIS-inspired terrorists bombed three churches in Sri Lanka.
On September 11, a pastor in Passara, located in Sri Lanka’s Badulla district, was told that his request for financial help to construct an Assemblies of God church had been blocked. This happened after the pastor had received all the necessary approvals to construct the church. According to local reports, three villagers petitioned the local government against the construction of the church.
On September 14, members of Zion Revival Church, located in Sri Lanka’s Gampaha district, were threatened and intimidated by a mob of 100 villagers led by six Buddhist monks. According to local reports, the mob demanded that the Christians stop their worship services. Fifteen police officers also accompanied the mob and threatened to arrest the head pastor of Zion Revival Church if he continued to lead worship or ever entered the village again.
In the latest reported incident, six Christians were attacked and beaten in Batticaloa district as they were on their way to church. The group was attacked by around ten villagers wielding sticks on September 21. Five were beaten so badly that they were admitted to the hospital.
As Sri Lanka’s Christians recover from the devastation wrought by the Easter Bombings, these reports of persecution continue to instill a sense of fear amongst Christians. Sri Lanka’s government must take action to secure the rights and security of the island’s small, but persecuted, Christian community.
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