Religious intolerance and violence continues to gain steam on the island nation of Sri Lanka as a mob led by Buddhist monks stormed two Christian religious centers destroying Christian books, icons and other properties. Buddhist nationalism seems to be the motivating factor behind many attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka as radical monks preach that Sri Lanka’s traditional Buddhist identity is under threat from minority religions. These nationalist monks claim that Sri Lanka is a nation only for Buddhists and that other religions seeking to practice on the island nation must be pushed out. In 2013 alone, Christians were violently attacked over 65 times.
1/13/2014 Sri Lanka (Colombo Page) – A group of extremist Buddhist monks and laymen attacked two Christian religious centers today in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka’s tourist city in the south.
Buddhist Organizations in Hikkaduwa staged a protest in the area against Christian prayer centers operating in the region.
The monk-led mob resisted the police and destroyed the property hurling stones at the two prayer centers. The mob broke doors, windows and burnt religious signs and books.
Local media videoed the violence and broadcast in the evening news on TV channels.
The residents of these religious places were threatened and the police temporarily closed the main Galle Road as residents entered the Galle Road passing the Hikkaduwa town.
The Buddhist monks that led the protest said that the administrative authorities had ordered the prayer centers withdrawn.
However, the pastors in charge of these centers said they were registered duly and the eviction order is illegal.