Two churches in Hikkaduwa were attacked last Sunday. The Assembly of God church and Calvary free churches were attacked during Sunday Morning mass.
Video footage, aired by a Sri Lankan television channel, showed monks hurling stones, destroying pictures, and burning documents with the help of protesters at the sites.
Police were reportedly called by the pastors to when the attacks started. Police Spokesperson Ajith Rohana admitted that police were unable to stop the attack due to the small number of personnel present.
Police on Monday said that 24 people were identified as attackers and will be arrested. Eight of the attackers (who will be arrested) were monks, said the Police Spokesperson. No arrests have been made so far.
Another prayer centre in Homagama was reportedly torched during the early hours of Sunday.
A new research released by the Pew Research Center categories Sri Lanka as a country with “very high” social hostilities along with Syria, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Myanmar.
In some countries, violence toward religious minorities intensified from the levels reported in previous years. In Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, for example, monks attacked Muslim and Christian places of worship, including reportedly attacking a mosque in the town of Dambulla in April 2012 and forcibly occupying a Seventh-day Adventist church in the town of Deniyaya and converting it into a Buddhist temple in August 2012.4