Sri Lanka: Christian woman’s funeral conducted according to Hindu rites

October 17, 2021

According to tradition, St. Thomas the Apostle brought Christianity to Sri Lanka, but Holy Orthodoxy no longer has a presence there. The growing Evangelical Protestant community is subject to increasingly harassment and discrimination from Hindus and Buddhists, both of whom have resorted to violence in attempting to prevent the growth of Christianity. 

For previous coverage of the threats to religious freedom worldwide, see here.

“Christian woman’s funeral conducted according to Hindu rites in eastern Sri Lanka,” Barnabas Fund, October 11, 2021:

A deceased Christian woman in the village of Karukkamunai, eastern Sri Lanka, was buried according to Hindu rites after residents refused to allow a Christian ceremony.

The Grama Niladhari (village administrative officers appointed by the government) of Karukkamunai along with ten members of a local Rural Development Committee argued that a Christian funeral was not permitted in the village cemetery.

Instead they pressured the woman’s two daughters into allowing the 27 September funeral to be carried out according to Hindu customs….

In some cases, he reported, villagers have exhumed the bodies of Christians from temple-controlled burial grounds and discarded them.

“The converts from Hindu backgrounds to Christianity in the eastern province have been through severe persecution in the past,” he added. “Churches and Christian homes have been burnt, and converts have been assaulted in several places.”

Sri Lankan Christians, who make up 8% of the population, suffer discrimination and harassment and sometimes violence from Buddhist extremists, Muslim extremists and Hindu extremists….