Release International, September 26, 2023 (excerpts)
Returning home early one evening Pastor Chandrapala was faced with an angry 50-strong mob surrounding his property. Despite his obvious fears, he kept calm and was able to record the harassment on his phone. The group included a number of Buddhist monks who, after spotting his presence, tried to goad him into responding in order to raise a complaint against him.
However, he kept silent. Bizarrely they even warned him that although he could hold a church service, he could not invite anyone else to attend!
Thankfully the emergency response team at the local police station was led by a Christian officer who upon being made aware of the incident took immediate action.
Pastor Chandrapala lives in an area populated by Hindus as well as Buddhists. While the church distributed packs of literature to Hindu children there was no reaction from the local community; however, once Buddhist youngsters started receiving them the uproar began.
At the insistence of local monks, who exert great influence in the community, the pastor was called to an inquiry earlier this year, and incorrectly accused of holding prohibited meetings on the ground that they were not taking place in a registered church. The law actually permits such gatherings, but he was warned to stop his activities.
When the pastor was challenged that the books he was distributing were attempts to convert others, his response was that he was not trying to convert but simply to bless the local community.
However, despite his actions being lawful, a mob was rounded up to intimidate him as he returned home.
This was not the first time he had faced threats.