Methodist President wants protection for flock

The leaders of the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka are complaining that Police are not doing enough to protect their congregation in Anuradhapura.

The Bishop President of the Methodist Church Rev. Asiri Perera on Tuesday (16) lodged a complaint at Police Headquarters against the Anuradhapura police saying officers there had not done enough to protect his flock against repeated attacks by a group of people.

“We are complaining against police inaction,” he said.

At a press conference held at the Methodist headquarters in Colombo the Bishop said that a small institution known as Aadara Sevana in Kumbichchikulama in Anuradhapura run by the Church has come under repeated attack.

The last incident occurred, where the Bishop alleges, the building with about 12 congregants inside celebrating Palm Sunday was attacked by a mob which threw stones and crackers. “They bolted our gate from outside confining us. When we called the police they did not come. Then we contacted the local DIG and he sent prompt assistance,” he said.

Aadara Sevana is not a Church per se. It is a center which provides training for differently-abled and hearing-impaired children to be self-sufficient and has been running for the past 16 years, he said.

He and the priest in charge of the center Rev Dinuk Silva said that since March there have been three separate attacks and in each case they had made complaints to the police. He said that he had informed the police of the names of some of the attackers but no-one has been questioned and no arrests have been made.   

Rev Perera said that Christians or any others had the Constitutional right to practice their religion, although the Church recognizes that the majority of Sri Lankans are Buddhists and Hindus.

“We are not asking for special treatment. Instead we are asking for the police to be equitable and give us justice and allow us to exercise our right to practice our faith,” he added.

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