Christians in Sri Lanka fear election of new Buddhist leader could mean more persecution

Monday, December 2, 2019

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Christians in Sri Lanka are expecting persecution to intensify under a new Buddhist leader whose brother once gave the green light for monks to harass churches.

Gotabaya Rajapaska was elected by the south Asian country's majority Sinhala Buddhist population in November and vowed to uphold the state religion of Buddhism while respecting the rights of minorities, but Christians say the activities of his brother, Mohinda, belie this promise.

Under Mohinda Rajapaska's presidency from 2005 to 2015, Christians suffered waves of attacks by Buddhist monks who whipped up the fervor of the surrounding population to burn churches and harass believers.

Sri Lanka was the site of the worst Islamic State bombing in recent memory last Easter when terrorists slaughtered 253 Christians at three churches, the government earning criticism for not acting on intelligence from Indian sources that would have prevented the attacks.