Attacks on Christians

Christians renewed an appeal to the Sri Lankan government to defend religious freedom after the nation’s minority Christian community was shocked by an attack on a Protestant church. The attack occurred on Dec. 9, in Weeraketiya, an area in the southern province of Sri Lanka. A crowd of about 1,000 people, including many Buddhist monks, stormed the church building and injured its pastor. The crowd destroyed the church, sacred furnishings and parked cars. The day before the incident a group of Buddhists and monks had visited the pastor, warning him that without the permission of the Buddhist clergy, he could not carry out Christian worship in Weeraketiya. In 2012, the Christian communities in Sri Lanka of different denominations reported about 50 attacks by Buddhists. Over 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s population of 20.4 million are Buddhists. Christians are estimated to be 8.4 percent of the population; 40 percent of them belong to the Tamil ethnic minority. The Buddhist Power Force (Bodu Bala Sena), one of the violent Buddhist groups, recently asked its followers to “defend the country” from Muslims and Christians.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

If we have run, if we have been exposed for all the world to see, it is not our failure that matters most. It is Christ’s strength.
Terrance KleinMarch 21, 2018
A young girl sitting next to Pope Francis smiles during an audience with Special Olympics athletes participating in the Unified Football tournament, at the Vatican Oct. 13. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
“Maybe one day we will live in a world without disabilities. Wouldn’t that be perfect for modern-day Hitlers?”
Angelo Jesus CantaMarch 21, 2018
The Gaffigans have produced comedy specials, best-selling books and five children. They even survived a brain tumor. What have you done lately?
Bill McGarveyMarch 21, 2018
You have likely seen the profiles, the gifs, the memes, the television spots. But there is much that you have not seen.
Zac DavisMarch 21, 2018