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(Missions Insider: www.christianaid.org) – Since the death of one of Sri Lanka ‘s most venerated Buddhist monks last December, Christians have faced increased persecution from Buddhists there. This particular monk, who aroused Buddhist society against Christians, died of a heart attack. Rumors spread, however, that he was murdered by Christians. Buddhist attacks on Christian churches and prayer centers began to spread as a result. A gang of Buddhists recently demanded that a missionary demolish his church building, which has operated in the region for 28 years. Police officers were stationed outside of the church after Buddhists damaged the windows and roof, but they were virtually powerless against the larger number of the crowd determined to end the presence of Christianity there.

“We can no longer hold open-air and cottage meetings or distribute tracts,” a native missionary has reported. “Moreover, they say that since Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, the people should not be allowed to change their religion.”

In support of the Buddhists, the communist party in Sri Lanka issued a statement condemning Christian conversions as a threat to the social fabric and inter-religious harmony in Sri Lanka .