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Sri Lankan Christians too scared to attend church

Wed 19 Jun 2019
By Heather Preston

Two months after the Easter bombings, many Christians in Sri Lanka have said they are still too afraid to attend church services.

The series of targeted attacks by Islamic extremists killed more than 250 people and left 300 injured in churches and hotels across the country.

Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) have reported that many believers fear further violence despite an increase in security.

 

ACN spokesperson Citra Abbott told Premier: "The community is definitely scared. And not least because a number of the attackers remain at large and add to that the fact that the government failed to act on intelligence prior to the attacks."

Concerns of religious persecution continues to grow within the Sri Lankan Christian community, following confirmation from the Supreme Court that the right to share your religion is not protected by the country's constitution.

Ms Abbott said: "Military presence is actually huge, especially in churches. But people don't trust the government because violence against Christians by Hindu and Buddhist extremists in any case, is by and large ignored by the government."

She added: "In spite of the fear, the faith there is strong and many feel that their faith has been strengthened despite being either victims themselves in the attack or losing friends and family."

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, an outspoken critic of the Sri Lankan government's apparent failure to act on Indian government intelligence ahead of the Easter attacks, has demanded more security during church services in the aftermath of the violence.

 

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