Tuesday 20 August 2019

Sunday Masses cancelled in Sri Lanka in wake of Easter Sunday blasts

There will be no more services until further notice, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said.

Catholic priests walk outside St Sebastian’s Church which was targeted by bombers (Manish Swarup/AP)
Catholic priests walk outside St Sebastian’s Church which was targeted by bombers (Manish Swarup/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

There will be no Sunday Masses until further notice after the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, the Archbishop of Colombo has said.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith made the comment during a news conference on Friday in the Sri Lankan capital.

The cleric appealed for financial support to rebuild the lives of affected people and reconstruct the churches targeted in the Islamic State-claimed suicide bombings, which killed over 250 people on Sunday.

The US Embassy in Sri Lanka has warned people to stay away from places of worship this weekend over concerns about possible further attacks.

A policeman stands guard, as surveyors work at St Sebastian’s Church (Manish Swarup/AP)

Sri Lankan officials say they continue to search for suspects in the bombings.

The cardinal told journalists that church officials had seen a leaked security document describing Catholic churches and other denominations as major targets for attackers.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith (Manish Swarup/AP)

He also asked the faithful to stay home for their own safety.

“We don’t want repetitions,” said the cardinal in cancelling the services.

On Friday, authorities urged Muslims not to hold congregational prayers over fears they might be targeted.

However, several mosques did under the protection of security forces.

PA Media

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