Colombo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Christians of Sri Lanka are now also being targeted by radical Buddhist groups: several evangelical organizations have denounced the increase in attacks against different communities in the month of March. An anomaly for the Buddhist-majority country, where the tensions of ethnic origin - between Tamils and Sinhalese - are much more widespread than are those related to religions.
The warning was launched by the Protestant
Barnabas Fund that deals with finance projects to help Christians in need. The
group reports 10 attacks in Sri Lanka in March alone. "It
is very rare - confirmed a member - to hear of so many anti-Christian incidents
in a single month. This is a clear sign of a concerted plan on the part of
radical Buddhist groups."
Among the attacks registered last month, the Barnabas Fund reports one that occurred on March 18 in Katuwana (Southern Province). Some Buddhists attacked the home of the pastor Pradeep Kumara. The pastor used the house to organize prayer meetings for his community. At the time of the attack, only the wife and children of the Reverend were home, who were threatened by attackers. The woman called her husband and the police, but the officers were not able to stop the destruction of the house.
Already in December 2012 some
Buddhist fundamentalists had attacked the Rev. Kumara,
destroying his car and threatening to kill him if he did not leave the church.
This series of attacks are part of a context of growing religious intolerance perpetrated by some radical Sinhalese-Buddhist groups, who have long been targeting the Muslim and - to a lesser extent - Christian communities. In particular, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the Sinhala Ravaya ("eco Sinhalese"), two extremist groups whose "mission" is to protect the Sinhalese population and and Buddhist religion.