Inmates of a Christian ‘home’ in Sri Lanka have complained of sexual and physical abuse by an 80-year-old priest and nuns respectively. The horrifying details of abuse came to light after some of the inmates escaped the ‘home’ and were found by police. Local Tamil media reported that the 80-year-old priest was arrested for raping minor girls.
3 underage girls went missing from the ‘home’ in March. When they were found by police it was revealed that they were subjected to physical and sexual abuse in the so-called ‘home’. Police conducted a raid on the ‘home’ and rescued 13 children. During the investigation, it was revealed that the children were subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
Virakesari, a Sri Lankan Tamil portal, reported that the children said they were beaten with pipes filled with sand when they made mistakes. They revealed that they informed their teachers about the abuse but they told the clergy which resulted in more beatings. They were not given food properly and were forced to take Vitamin C and D tablets unnecessarily.
The children were also forced to play with the dogs raised by the nuns in the ‘home’ to entertain them. Both orphans and children left by their parents were forced to convert to Christianity. In the case of children with parents, the latter were also forced to convert in order to admit the former. The children were woken up early in the morning and forced to participate in prayers.
They were made to do gardening and other chores in the ‘home’ and allowed to read only the Bible. Children also revealed that they were allowed to pray only in the Christian way and that other religious modes of prayers were banned. The ‘home’ is run by the Canaan Fellowship Church in Jaffna. Their website begs for funds to run the ‘home’ by showcasing the little girls.
During the police raid, it was found that the ‘home’ wasn’t registered and ran illegally. It was only registered as a school hostel with the Education Department. But the church’s website claims that the institution is “Approved as a ‘Home’ by the Ministry of Justice etc”. It is feared that authorities and politicians are hands in glove with the church in allowing its functioning. The church runs similar ‘homes’ in Kilinochchi and Badulla as well.
Police raided the two homes as well, but no details about the raids are available in the media. The Manager, Warden and Cook, one of them a nun, have been arrested and produced in the court. The 80-year-old priest was also arrested in Colombo where he was hiding and his passport was impounded.