Christian student attacked by Buddhist monks; Methodist bishop appeals for peace

Published 15 August 2019  |  

In Mahiyanganaya, Sri Lanka, a group of Buddhist monks beat up a student from the Evangelism Training College, which is causing despair among the island's Christians.

Four monks from a well-known radical group entered a private Methodist worship place and attacked the young man, hitting him on the stomach and head. He managed to escape and was later hospitalised. Church authorities filed a complaint against the attackers, but no actions were taken by the Hasalaka police officials.

President of the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka, Bishop Asiri Perera appealed for peace. He said Christians are not foreigners. They are citizens of this country.

Bishop Perera wrote to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe asking for a rapid intervention and for the guilty to be punished. "This is not the first time this has happened; we have suffered discrimination in the past," he said.

"I have great respect for Buddhism, but such actions harm the name of Buddhism. I am very concerned about the erosion of our freedom to practise the Christian faith," Bishop Perera added.

He feels it is necessary that police conduct an impartial inquiry and reveal the real culprits and to which extremist group they belong. He said the law should help solve problems and be equal for all citizens, without any divisions on a religious or ethnic basis.

He encouraged Buddhists to be considerate of Christians who live among them, in keeping with the noble teachings of the Buddha.

"Christians have no intention of wiping out Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam. Christians only want to stay in this country. [. . .] You, Buddhists can enjoy your freedom as you wish. Let Christians practise our own faith freely, according to the county's constitution," the Christian leader said.

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