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03/10/2022 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – Last Sunday, a mob of around 600 people broke into the Mercy Gate Chapel in Sri Lanka and demanded all religious activities cease and the church be closed. The mob threatened the pastor with death if the worship did not stop. One of the believers was assaulted and ultimately hospitalized due to his injuries. The Officer in Charge of the local police station, as well as around 20 other officers that were present, told the mob that they had no legal basis for closing down the church. With no legal order, the officer advised the mob to leave.

The mob included 60 Buddhist monks who refused to leave before they could inspect the church. The pastor had refused to let them inspect the church earlier, but after assurance from the Officer in Charge that no harm would come to him or the congregation, the pastor allowed it. Upon finishing their inspection, the monks questioned the pastor about the religious activities going on in the church. After the monks had their answers, they returned to the mob outside and declared that the church was illegitimate. The mob dispersed shortly after.

Later that night, the pastor went to the police station to file a complaint against the mob and the Buddhist monks leading them. He was called to the station on Tuesday for an inquiry, and the police are looking into the matter. There have been many examples of anti-Christian mobs turning violent, but luckily the Officer in Charge of the police station played a role in keeping the altercation peaceful. We pray the police will continue this attitude of diligence in their investigation.

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