Court Cans Case Questioning Legality of Church

On 13 February 2015, the Homagama Magistrates Court dismissed a case filed against the Jeevana Diya Church in Meegoda questioning its legality.

On September 8, 2013, the Jeevana Diya Church in Kadjugahadeniya in the Meegoda district faced a violent attack by approximately 30 villagers led by three Buddhist monks. The attack left all the musical instruments in the premises destroyed, the furniture and windows damaged and members of the congregation severely assaulted.

There were two cases filed by the Meegoda police station on the incident. The first was filed against the church claiming it to be an “unauthorized place of worship”. The other was filed against the attack that was carried out against the church. Interestingly this case too, emphasized that the violent attack took place on an “unauthorized place of worship”.

The absence of any arrests in connection with the attack could perhaps have impelled the second attack on the church that followed three months later, on 12 December. The Jeevana Diya Church that had suffered damages amounting to almost 2.5 lakhs (250,000 Sri Lankan rupees), in the previous attack, incurred more losses in an arson attack that was carried out by unidentified persons again in December. The pastor expressed that the musical instruments that had been set aside for repair following the first attack had been completely burned in the second.

The Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) of the NCEASL, in keeping with its role, worked towards guaranteeing the rights of the pastor and his congregation, by providing legal advice and financial assistance towards the pastor’s legal representation in court. While welcoming the Homagama Magistrate’s dismissal of the case questioning the legality of the church, they look forward to the speedy deliverance of justice on the attacks.

Related stories 

Jeevana Diya Church in Meegoda attacked again

Jeevana Diya Church Attack Taken to Court 

Prayer Gathering in Meegoda Attacked by Mob led by Buddhist Monk

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