Methodist Church reeling from another attack | Sunday Observer

Methodist Church reeling from another attack

Bishop Asiri Perera Pic – Siripala Halwala
Bishop Asiri Perera Pic – Siripala Halwala

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the founding leader of the Soviet nation, once said ‘religion is like opium to the people’. Though there are debates about it, certain incidents that take place in society force us to re-consider the idea.

Last week (August 4), a Methodist priest in Weraganthota, Mahiyanganaya was brutally attacked by several Buddhist monks after a Sunday service, the Methodist Church of Colombo said. The priest had finished the Sunday mass when four Buddhist monks stormed into the private home where the young priest who is still studying the Bible, got severely beaten.

According to Bishop Asiri Perera, the President of Methodist Church of Sri Lanka, the terrified priest had boarded his motorcycle and ridden it 180km straight to his training centre. “These monks had beaten him in the face, back of the head, spine and stomach. He and the church congregation were helpless, as a group of villagers had accompanied the monks. But they were not involved in the attack” the Bishop said.

“The young priest is now in a safe place but he is unable to hear properly. He will be referred to a psychiatrist soon,” the Bishop said.

Soon after the incident, worshippers had lodged a complaint with the police.

Subsequently, under the instructions of Bishop Perera, the chief pastor of Bibile had also lodged a separate complaint with the police.

Meanwhile, the Police Media Division told the Sunday Observer that both the victim and a monk alleged to have been behind the attack were summoned to the Mahiyanganaya police last Friday (9) to record statements.

Not long ago, Bishop Asiri Perera himself was a victim of a similar attack allegedly instigated by an SLPP politico in Anuradhapura.

The Bishop was taken hostage inside a Methodist prayer centre in the Anuradhapura town while he was there to conduct the Palm Sunday service in April this year. Ironically, the attack took place precisely one week before the devastating Easter bombings that targeted three places of Christian worship.

“It does not bother me if Sinhala Buddhists say that they are the majority. But my problem is, them trying to police us. I do not like that.

They do not possess any right to question our religious matters as we do not interfere in their affairs. I respect Buddha and consider him a great philosopher” the Head of the Methodist Church told Sunday Observer.