Sri Lanka: Arson Attack on Church Premises by Unidentified Group of Persons

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Jeevana Diya Church
Kadjugahadeniya, Meegoda (Colombo District)

12th December 2013 – At approximately 1.45 a.m. the pastor and his family were awakened by a fire. The church premises which is annexed to the pastor’s premises had been set on fire by an unidentified group of persons. As the church premises had been built by wooden planks, the front portion of the premises was completely burnt down by the fire. The pastor together with his family ran out of their house escaping the fire just in time.

The pastor immediately called the emergency police hotline.  The police officers arrived and investigated into the incident and informed the pastor that either petrol or kerosene oil had been used by the perpetrators for the arson attack on the church.

Earlier this year in September the pastor similarly faced a violent attack led by Buddhist monks and villagers. A case was also filed stating the pastor’s church as an “unauthorized place of worship” in the Magistrates Courts, which is presently ongoing. The musical instruments which were damaged in the previous attack, was set aside in the corner of the church to be repaired. However, all the musical instruments were completely burnt in this attack. The pastor suffered damages up to 241,200 Sri Lanka Rupees in the previous attack as well.

These reports are compiled by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL). The above is based on information received by the NCEASL from member churches and affiliates. All information has been verified as far as possible through interviews with the victims, church leaders, eye witnesses and police and through site visits by NCEASL staff.

Read also the full report of the NCEASL on threats and attacks on religious freedom this year: