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Sri Lanka Country Profile on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB)

Author: Katherine Marshall

November 4, 2019

Sri Lanka faces a social and political crisis where religious divides among different communities play significant roles. Of particular concern is Buddhist extremism that has intertwined religious, ethnic, and political roots, within Sri Lanka and beyond. Violence against Muslims, Hindus, and Christians is largely the result of failures by the Sri Lankan state to protect minority rights and promote understandings of citizenship that reflect a commitment to the nation’s diverse heritage, and religious and cultural identities, as well as ingrained social prejudices. This brief highlights some of the deep and complex religious factors that threaten harmony and progress on human rights in Sri Lanka. WFDD Executive Director Katherine Marshall was a lead author on the brief, developed as part of the Southeast Asia: Advancing Inter-Religious dialogue and Freedom of Religion or Belief project.

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