Follow up Report on Middeniya, Sri Lanka

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National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL)

Follow up Report on Middeniya

(Week of 22nd - 26th June 2008)

Protest in Middeniya

AOG Church, Middeniya

Hambanthota District

Protesters burn cross and picture of the Virgin Mary

On the 22nd of June 2008, the planned anti-Christian protest rally that was held in Middeniya with about 5,000 persons and about 200 Buddhist Bhikkus attending. It is reported that several prominent Bhikkus addressed the rally, including a member of the JHU. At the commencement of the rally a cross and a picture of the blessed Virgin Mary were burned by the protesters.

The protesters also made their way to the road where the AOG pastor resides and in a hurriedly arranged ceremony, named the previously unnamed gravel road 'Baudhdhaloka Mawatha'. The crowd shouted anti-Christian slogans that they do not want a Church in that area. Police officers deployed to provide protection to the Pastor prevented the mob from entering the immediate vicinity of the premises. The Pastor and his family were spared from any harm. However, tension continues and they remain housebound.

Today, 26th June 2008, the Pastor received a letter from the Divisional Secretary's Office summoning him to a meeting on 27th June, regarding the anti-Christian protest rally and the prevalent situation. However, the Pastor is not in a position to attend this meeting as the situation in the neighbourhood remains tense.

Thank you for your fervent prayers for the pastor and the Christians in this area. We praise and thank God for His hand of protection.

Please continue to uphold them in prayer.