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The Colonial History of Christianity in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lankan security forces secure the area around St. Anthony’s Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade on April 21st, 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

At least 200 people have been killed in several coordinated bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter.

Several Christian communities spread across the island nation were targeted in the attack: Suicide bombers detonated one set of bombs at churches in the cities of Colombo and Negombo on the western coast, home to many Sinhalese-speaking Catholics. Another was detonated in a Protestant church 200 miles away—in Batticaloa, a city in the Tamil majority eastern side of the island.

As a Catholic religious studies researcher and professor, I lived in Sri Lanka in the fall of 2013 and did research on Catholicism in both the southwest and northern parts of the country. Approximately, 7% of Sri Lanka’s 21 million people are Christian. The majority of those are Roman Catholic.

Sri Lanka’s Christians have a long history that reflects the dynamics of colonialism as well as present-day ethnic and religious tensions.

Entry of Catholicism

It was Portuguese colonialism that opened the door for Roman Catholicism into the island nation.

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !