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Buddhist monks lead attack on church in Sri Lanka comment (0)

January 3, 2013

WEERAKETIYA, Sri Lanka — A mob of about 1,000 people in southern Sri Lanka, led by Buddhist monks, protested the presence of a church by overpowering police, vandalizing property and beating the pastor on Dec. 9, Christian sources said.

The attackers destroyed the church’s furniture, equipment and vehicles and assaulted the pastor, identified only as Pradeep, and two police officers.

The pastor suffered injuries in his lower abdomen, but has not been able to go to a hospital for treatment because some of the attackers are monitoring him, the source added. No one had been arrested at press time. 

The church estimates the damage to be around $4,000.

The day before the attack, local Buddhist monks visited the pastor and told him that permission from Buddhist clergy was needed for Christian worship, the source said. The pastor replied that freedom of religion is enshrined in the country’s constitution. The monks insisted he close down the church or face destruction.

 “Buddhist monks are part of the ruling coalition government, and they operate with impunity,” the source explained. “This is not an isolated incident; at least 50 incidents of violence against Christians have been recorded by Christian groups this year.”

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