Thousands of Catholics attended mass in Colombo today (Sunday) amid tight security to prevent a repeat of Easter bomb attacks that killed 258 people.
Soldiers armed with automatic assault rifles guarded St. Theresa’s church at Colombo’s Thimbirigasyaya residential quarter, while members of the congregation were searched for explosives.
The sprawling church car park was empty as the authorities did not allow any vehicles into the compound as part of high-level security.
The government has blamed local jihadists for the deadly April 21 bombings, which targeted three Christian churches and three luxury hotels.
Regular services were cancelled across all churches soon after the deadly suicide attacks, but the archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith announced on Thursday that mass would be held in his diocese from Sunday.
The Cardinal conducted private Sunday services in the past two weeks, which were broadcast live on national television.
He also said a special mass for the victims of the April 21 attack at the St. Lucia’s cathedral on Saturday. The congregation was made up of relatives of victims and survivors of the Easter Sunday attacks. (Courtesy AFP)