Buddhist militants in Sri Lanka attack three evangelical churches.

By November 17, 2003

Sri Lanka (MNN)–Sri Lankan churches continue to face pressure from Buddhist militants, reported the Voice of the Martyrs.

As a crowd arrived to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Philadelphia Church Rajagiriya branch October 26, a mob of Buddhist monks began disrupting the service. They accused the pastor of showing disrespect for Buddha by putting a statue of him on the floor.

However, church members say it was the monks who placed the statue on the floor and demanded the pastor worship it. When he refused, he was beaten. Chairs were broken, banners destroyed and musical instruments damaged. The pastor and another member were held hostage by the mob until the police arrived and took them to the station for their safety.

Speaking to the police, some of the monks demanded that the church stop all Christian activity in the area. In a separate incident October 30, five Buddhists, including two monks, attacked the Assembly of God church in Homagama. At midday they entered the house where the church met, dragged out the pulpit and hymnals and burned them, and stole some musical instruments.

On Thursday, November 6, while members of the Calvary Worship Centre in Udugampola were praying, a hand grenade was thrown at the church by a man on a motorcycle. A vehicle was damaged as well as a wall of the building, but there were no injuries.

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