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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

It’s hard to accept that we are called to praise. What shout of joy amid such poverty?
James Matthew WilsonDecember 14, 2018
We talk to Sister Helen about how “sneaky Jesus” changed her life forever.
Zac DavisDecember 14, 2018
In the issue of Dec. 21, 1918, shortly after the end of World War I, the editors of America prayed that the Christmas celebration of that year would usher in lasting world peace. 
The EditorsDecember 14, 2018
Presented with 10 films and television specials, readers had a variety of favorites.
Our readersDecember 14, 2018