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Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka
Photo: Flickr / César González Palomo (cc)

On July 16th, while Sunday School classes were in progress, 12 members of the Young Men's Buddhist Association arrived at a church to proclaim that the children should not be taught Christianity in a Buddhist village. They also claimed that the pastor and his ministry workers were unethically and forcibly converting the residents of the village.

While the worship service was in progress, about 30 villagers and two Buddhist monks gathered around the church premises. A few members of the group joined the monks as they entered the church and falsely accused the pastor of unethically converting people. They demanded that the pastor and his congregation stop their worship activities immediately and leave the village. They also threatened violence if the pastor and members of the church did not comply.

Following the incident, the pastor and a ministry worker went to the area police station to present a complaint. At this point, they were initially refused but were asked to return when the officer-in-charge was present. The next morning, when two pastors and a ministry worker arrived at the police station for an inquiry with a sub-inspector, the senior Buddhist monk from the village temple and two other villagers were also present. The monk said Christians should not be allowed to practice their faith in the village, including reading their Bibles and praying in their own homes.

In an unexpected act of freedom and enforcement of current laws, the sub-inspector stated that all citizens are guaranteed the right to religious freedom in the constitution. Let us praise the Lord for the sub-inspector's diplomatic stance and for granting these Christians the freedom to worship!