Assemblies of God Church, Children's Home Attacked in Sri Lanka

Assaults against Christians in Sri Lanka continued over the last few weeks, according to the Voice of the Martyrs.

In the latest incident that took place in the early morning of Nov. 14, 2004, human excrement and engine oil was thrown at the building of an Assemblies of God church in Yakkala. The Church reportedly faced several attacks in addition to the most recent.

A few days earlier, on November 9, the Bethel Children's Home run by the Christian Revival Crusade in Batticaloa was damaged when a hand grenade was thrown at the building. No injuries were reported.

According to the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), there has been a significant growth of evangelical Christianity since 1980, resulting in increasing opposition from militant Buddhists, frequently led by local monks. “Churches have been burned and Christians beaten and stabbed,” the persecution watchdog group reported.

In one instance, in October 2003, VOM said that a large mob, led by monks, entered a church gathering and attempted to force the pastor to worship a Buddhist statue. When he refused, they attempted to have him arrested for disrespecting Buddha.

VOM added, “Mobs frequently threaten more violence unless all Christian work stops in their area.”