Various human rights groups have reported that Christians in Sri Lanka are facing escalating persecution at the hands of Buddhist monks and government officials. Sri Lanka, which is a Buddhist majority nation, has historically been plagued by the actions of radical Buddhist nationalists seeking to turn the island nation into truly a Buddhist nation. In pursuit of this goal, the Buddhist radicals persecute and discriminate against Sri Lanka’s religious minorities including Muslims and Christians. According to local reports, Christians in Sri Lanka were attacked over 120 times in the past year.
4/19/2016 Sri Lanka (CBN) – Release International, a ministry that exposes persecution of Christians, has reported the targeting coming from several fronts, perpetrated by Buddhist monks and government officials.
Churches and prayer meetings have been forced to close down. In several instances the monks have refused to allow Christians to bury their dead in public cemeteries, or sometimes even on church grounds.
A human rights lawyer in the country has documented over 120 cases of persecution against Christians in the past year.
“You don’t normally associate Buddhism with violence, but time and again we hear that it is Buddhist monks who are leading the attacks against the churches. And our partners have found the monks are being aided by pro-Buddhist authorities,” said Paul Robinson, chief executive at Release.
In January of this year, 100 villagers led by two Buddhist monks forced their way into a church service in Kurunegala District. They shouted at the pastor: “If you continue this service we will physically assault you!” The local police refused to provide protection and told the pastor to stop all worship meetings unless he could get court approval to meet.
Back in August 2015, ten Buddhist monks and 30 villagers interrupted a church meeting in Galle District. They attacked members of the congregation, including the pastor and his wife.