Sri Lankan Catholics celebrated the first Sunday Mass in public since the Easter suicide bombings that claimed the lives of over 250 people.
Following the multiple suicide bombings that included three churches, all public Masses were suspended in Sri Lanka for two weeks out of fear of further attacks. This past Sunday, the Faithful returned to their churches for public worship and other services.
Armed police and military patrolled the streets and stood guard outside with volunteers keeping watch for any suspicious persons. Attendees were only able to bring minimal baggage and saw heightened security precautions, including ID checks and a full body search.
After the bombings, Sri Lanka instituted a curfew, a ban on face veils, and temporarily blocked messaging apps as safety precautions. Last week, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena told reporters that “99 percent” of the suspects in the Easter bombing case had been arrested, and that the country is safe again for tourists and others to return.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, said that Catholic schools are set to reopen today after being given assurance by security forces.