Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka, Christians across the country are advising that the visitors use caution not to inflame tensions between the country’s Buddhist and Christian communities. Over the last year, attacks on Christians have increased in Sri Lanka. Many of these attacks have been perpetrated by radical Buddhist nationalists connected to Sri Lanka’s BBS group. Will the Pope’s visit be positive for Christians in Sri Lanka or will it give Buddhist radicals more reason to persecuted this already persecuted community?
1/5/2015 Sri Lanka (Christian Today) – Ahead of the Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka this month, Catholic leaders have warned that caution is needed in order to ‘avoid’ worsening the situation for religious minorities.
According to the Catholic Herald, cases of persecution against Christians and Muslims have recently spiked in the Buddhist majority nation.
Extreme Bhuddist monks have reportedly held rallies and attacked churches throughout 2014. In January last year, three Pentecostal churches were attacked and burned. Whilst in July, anti-Muslim riots resulted in the death of four, with 80 injured and tens of thousands fleeing their homes for safety.
Bodu Bala Sena, which when interpreted means “Buddhist Power Force”, is a group that reportedly seeks to help the entire country to regain its Buddhist identity.