On Easter Sunday more than 300 people were killed and many hundreds injured in a series of attacks on Catholic churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, according to press reports to date. Most of the victims had been during the attacks in the churches when Easter services were taking place.
Church President Asiri Perera, head of the Methodist UEM member church in Sri Lanka, reported already in the week before the bloody assassination attempt about a massive attack on a Methodist church in Kollupitiya during the service on Palm Sunday. In his almost 12-minute video message, the leading theologian described his unannounced church visit to Anuradhapura, where a group of aggressive men between the ages of 20 and 25 threatened him massively on the way from his vehicle to the church and asked him to leave the premises. During the service, stones and firecrackers were thrown at the church building for about 45 minutes. He himself and the congregation found the situation very threatening. As they left the church, the congregation discovered that the entrance gate had been locked from the outside and that they themselves had been trapped on the church grounds. Only the called police freed the believers and gave them safe escort. The church leader thanked the authorities for restoring security. Looking at the mob, Asiri Perera said: "Father, forgive them. Let us pray for them, for they know nothing of the love and power of our Lord Jesus Christ".
The complete video message of Asiri Perera is published on Facebook.