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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Mob Including Buddhist Priests Attacks Christian Place of Worship at Weeraketiya in Hambantota District

(Incident Report of National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka )
A large mob including many Buddhist monks stormed the Jeevalokaya Sabhawa premises at Weeraketiya in Hambantota district where a Christian Congregation was gathered together for worship this morning(9th).
8 police officers who were present in the vicinity to monitor a demonstration organized by the monks against the church were overpowered by the unruly mob who caused serious damage to furniture and equipment within the building as well as to vehicles belonging to church members which were parked outside. The pastor was hit with a rock and was suffering from severe pain in his lower abdomen.
It is reported that the mob also assaulted 2 of the police officers when they attempted to stop the attack. Police re-enforcements as well as army soldiers were deployed to control the mob.

On 8th December (the day before) a group of Buddhist monks and lay persons visited the pastor and told him that he cannot conduct Christian worship in Weeraketiya without permission from the Buddhist clergy. When the pastor informed him that he was simply exercising his Constitutional right to practice his religion, the monks told him that the Constitution has now changed. (the fundamental rights chapter of the Constitution dealing with the freedom of religion has not changed since the drafting of the Constitution in 1978). The monks issued an ultimatum to the pastor to stop the church or else they will destroy the church.

Please pray for the pastor, all those who were injured in the attack or suffered damages. Pray for those who are conducting investigations that the truth will prevail. Pray for this congregation, particularly the children who were present during this frightening attack.

Please note that this report is based on preliminary information received when this report was filed (at 2 p.m.) while police were still at the site, conducting investigations.


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