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Sri Lanka’s Christians protest Buddhist attacks on churches

Catholic World News - January 29, 2014

In the wake of two recent Buddhist attacks on Protestant churches, more than 2,000 Sri Lankan Christians joined in a protest in Colombo, the nation’s capital, to urge the government to do more to protect religious freedom, , according to a UCA News report.

On January 12, “a mob of over 200 men and women, including 20 Buddhist monks, entered the church while we were worshipping in the morning and damaged the building and destroyed equipment,” recounted the pastor of a Protestant church in Hikkaduwa, a small town in the southwestern portion of the nation.

“Bibles and hymn books were burnt,” he added. “The group threw stones at the church and damaged the building. Police were unable to control the mob and asked us to leave the church immediately.”

The island nation of 21.7 million is 69% Buddhist, 8% Muslim, 7% Hindu, and 7% Catholic, with a small Protestant population. The nation’s constitution, while providing for religious freedom, states that “the Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place” and declares that it is the duty of the government to foster Buddhism.

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