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Sri Lanka church 80 per cent back to normal a year on from attack

One of the churches worst affected by the Easter Day bombings in Sri Lanka last year is almost back to normal according to the parish priest.

The attack at St Anthony's in Colombo on April 21st killed 55 and injured 138.

While many initially stayed away from churches - over time parishioners have returned.

Father Jude Fernando of St Anthony's says his church is back to around 80 per cent.

The church was supported by religious freedom charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in the aftermath. ACN funded 40 certified therapists to help people including the bereaved and a further 300 specialists have been trained with the charity's support to provide psychological help for 2,000 people - families and children.  

Thanking the charity, he said: "The way we experienced your solidarity is highly appreciated. You have joined your prayers with ours.

"You shared in our pain and suffering. We will never forget your contributions in word and deed."

More than 250 people died in total during the attacks which also hit Batticaloa and Negombo. 

Terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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