Christians in Sri Lanka Face Sharp Increase of Persecution
From January 2013 to date, Sri Lanka saw 30 incidents of persecution against Christian churches, Open Doors USA reports. The perpetrators of such acts were not brought to justice, which encourages the culprits to continue carrying out such violent attacks without regard for the law. In a press release dated April 3, 2013, the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) expressed its deep concern over the "prevalence … of an organized campaign of hatred against adherents of non‐majority faiths." NCEASL wrote: "There are two alarming factors about the current situation. The first is that the violence seems to be organized and orchestrated by two organizations. Hence the violence has sustainability. Secondly, and most alarmingly both the extremist violent organizations seemingly have patronage and support from authorities and hence the impunity with which they operate." NCEASL's statement did not specify the two organizations, but one group had been drawing attention from mainstream media lately: Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), translated in English as Buddhist Power Force. Hard-line and militant in its views and stance on religious issues, the BBS had been implicated in numerous attacks and threats primarily targeted against Christians and Muslims. “There was an increase in attacks, hate speech and biased media reports against minority religious groups -- Christians and Muslims -- by the BBS," said an attorney who works on behalf of persecuted believers. "In the south of Sri Lanka alone, more than 10 churches have been forced to close down."