Sri Lanka Christians Detained, Church Burned As Violence Spreads

June 8, 2007

Author: BosNewsLife News Center

Source: Journal Chretein

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (BosNewsLife)— The World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WICCC) expressed concern Thursday, June 7, about the plight of Christians in Sri Lanka amid reports that at least one church was burned by militants in a new wave of anti-Christian violence, while a pastor and his assistant remain in custody on allegedly trumped-up charges.

The WICCC, a platform of churches, pastors, ministries, Christian schools and individual members in 76 nations, reacted to reports that Pastor Christian Velu Selvarajah and Stephen Thomas were to face a court hearing Thursday, June 7, for allegedly destroying two small statues of Buddha placed by the roadside at Unkelipitiya and Thalathuoya, in Kandy district.

The chief monk at a local Buddhist temple has accused the men of destroying the two small statues and claims to have two eye-witnesses to the attack. However human rights watchers have linked the charges to the Christians’ activities as officials of the Mt. Carmel Theological College in Kandy.

The men were detained May 27 along with Pastor Suresh Ramachandran, principal of the college, who was released the next day after authorities learned he had a clear alibi, Christian news agency Compass Direct News said.