Sri Lanka: Buddhist mob attacks Christian pastor

Buddhist extremists led by Buddhist monks attacked a Christian pastor and his wife in Asgiriya, near Kandy, in central Sri Lanka. Numbering more than 250 enraged assailants, who were led by monks of the  "Bodu Bala Sena" Buddhist sect, broke into the couple’s house, which belongs to the "Church of Grace." The two were beaten , called "traitors" and were threatened. The pastor had continued to offer Christian worship services despite demands and threats issued by the local Buddhists.
 
Buddhist monks also threatened villagers in the province of Sabaragamuw, ordering them to cease any contact or support of the pastor. In response to the attacks, Sri Lankan Christians have circulating a petition and calling upon civil authorities to respect their religious freedom.
 
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka also reported that two churches and a Christian prayer center were attacked in January of this year by a Buddhist mob, which claimed that they were illegal buildings intended for proselytism. This was followed by public demonstrations of support for religious liberty in Colombo. Currently, of Sri Lanka's approximately 20 million people, more than 70% are Buddhist, 6.1% are Christian, 9.7% are Muslim, and 12.6% are Hindu. The island country off the coast of southern India has only recently emerged from decades of guerrilla warfare that pitted ethnic Tamils against the central government. 


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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