Ostensibly a secular state, Sri Lanka’s new Constitution emphasises that Buddhism is the state religion, while belief in Buddhist supremacy remains widespread. Buddhist monks, who are influential in the villages, are the main source of pressure on Christians. Church services and prayer meetings have been stopped and church buildings attacked by mobs. Church leaders are most vulnerable. Christians from Buddhist, Muslim or Hindu backgrounds are seen as traitors and subjected to physical and verbal assaults.
Sri Lanka’s human rights record has been questioned as a Commonwealth summit takes place in Colombo. Several Commonwealth leaders have boycotted the event, while British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to ask “tough questions” of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. One of his lines of questioning may focus on […]