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Persecution of Christians increased under new Sri Lankan govt

The persecution of Christians has increased under the new Sri Lankan government, a human rights lawyer told Christian Today, with over 120 documented cases since the change of government last year compared to 52 under the previous regime.

The cases reportedly include cases of violence and increasingly involve Buddhist monks, said the chief executive of the charity, Release International, Paul Robinson.

"You don't normally associate Buddhism with violence, but time and again we hear that it is Buddhist monks who are leading the attacks against the churches," Mr Robinson said in a statement. 

"And our partners have found the monks are being aided by pro-Buddhist authorities ... This has to be brought into the spotlight."

The incidents include one incident where monks together with collusion of police officers and local Sinhala Buddhists prevented the burial of a deceased Christian within a public cemetery.

The news site Christian Daily noted:

"A prominent human rights lawyer, who spoke under conditions of anonymity, recalled one occasion wherein a Christian burial was interrupted by Buddhist monks. She said the monks suddenly began shouting that Christians cannot bury their dead in that location. The villagers around the public cemetery then came in with the police and drove the Christians out, telling them that they can bury their dead in a faraway place."

See more here.