certifired_img

Books and Documents

Current Affairs (21 Apr 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)


The Deadly Attacks In Sri Lanka Highlighted How Easily Religious Coexistence Can Be Ripped Apart Where Secularism Is Weakening

By Hannah Beech, Dharisha Bastians and Kai Schultz

April 21, 2019

 








The bombings of three churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday highlighted the vulnerability of Christians in Asia.CreditCreditReuters

The deadly attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday highlighted how easily religious coexistence can be ripped apart in a region where secularism is weakening amid the growing appeal of a politics based on ethnic and sectarian identity.

In India, the country’s governing right-wing Hindu party is exploiting faith for votes, pushing an us-versus-them philosophy that has left Muslims fearing they will be lynched if they walk alone.

In Myanmar, the country’s Buddhist generals have orchestrated a terrifying campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country’s Rohingya Muslims.

And in Indonesia and Bangladesh, traditionally moderate Muslim politicians are adopting harder-line stances to appeal to more conservative electorates.

The bombings of three churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday highlighted the vulnerability of Christians in Asia, where religious minorities of many faiths have been battered by this surge of nationalism and sectarian politics.

The explosions in Sri Lanka, which killed over 200 people, “brought mourning and sorrow” on the most important of Christian holidays, Pope Francis said after celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

Christians make up only 6 percent of the population of Sri Lanka, which is still emerging from the shadow of a harrowing civil war between the Sinhalese Buddhist majority and ethnic Tamils, most of whom are Hindu or Christian.

It is not yet clear who carried out the bombings on Sunday, which also included raids on three high-end hotels in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. But Christians were a primary target, and their faith has been increasingly under attack by militants and politicians across South and Southeast Asia.

Over the past year, deadly bombings of churches by militants claiming allegiance to the Islamic State have rocked the Philippines and Indonesia.

In India, the Hindu right, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has targeted Muslim and Christian minorities, the latter group because of its symbolic association with British colonialism.

The ruling party in Bangladesh, the secular-leaning Awami League, has partnered with conservative Muslim clerics who routinely call for the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians.

In Myanmar, Christian minorities fear they will be the next targets of the Buddhist-dominated government.

And in Sri Lanka, a toxic Buddhist nationalist political force has agitated against minority Christians and Muslims, dismissing them as relics of a British colonial era when the Buddhist majority itself was repressed.

“We see how these radical Christian groups from the West come here and try to convert Buddhists,” Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, a hard-line Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, said in an interview before he was jailed for contempt of court last year. “We cannot allow this to happen anymore.”

A week ago, on Palm Sunday — the beginning of the Christian Holy Week that culminates in Easter — a mob from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese Buddhist majority gathered at a Methodist building in the city of Anuradhapura, bombarding the building with stones and firecrackers and trapping worshipers inside.

Last year, Sinhalese throngs, spurred on by incendiary rhetoric from extremist Buddhist monks, carried out deadly attacks on Muslims near the city of Kandy, the latest in a series of anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka.

“Muslims and Christians, especially evangelical Christians, have been facing persecution for many years in Sri Lanka, but the scale and nature of today’s attacks are not comparable,” said Ruki Fernando, a Roman Catholic human rights activist in Colombo.

In India, Christians constitute just 2 percent of the population. But since Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, space for India’s nearly 30 million Christians has narrowed.

As part of a broader crackdown on thousands of foreign-funded organizations, a major Christian charity, Compassion International, was shut down in 2017 amid accusations it was masterminding religious conversions.

Later that year, Christmas carolers linked to the Roman Catholic Church were assaulted by Hindus in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Eight priests who went to the police station to help were instead detained by the authorities. Outside the station, their car was set on fire.

In one northern Indian city, a far-right Hindu group sent letters to schools warning administrators of repercussions if they marked Christmas in classrooms.

Evangelical Christianity has found fertile ground across Asia, where the rapid rate of conversions has created tensions from India to Indonesia.

Thousands of Pakistani converts have fled to Thailand, where they fear they could be deported at any time. Three years ago on Easter, a suicide bomber targeted Christian faithful in a park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing more than 70 people.

In Malaysia, where members of the country’s Muslim majority are governed by Shariah law in certain legal matters, Muslims are rarely allowed to renounce their faith.

Even in Muslim-majority Indonesia, which held peaceful elections last Wednesday, faith-based politics have tilted the political landscape, as the persecution of religious minorities mounts with little pushback from moderate politicians.

Hundreds of churches have been forced to close in Indonesia, where about 10 percent of the population is Christian. Proselytizing is banned in the country, even though freedom of religion is protected in the country’s Constitution.

The Christian former governor of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, was released this year after serving a 20 month sentence for blasphemy, a conviction that human rights groups saw as evidence of the rise of hard-line Islamic politics in a country that has long treasured its multifaith heritage.

President Joko Widodo, a Muslim moderate, failed to defend the former Jakarta governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who was his onetime protégé. Surviving a political smear campaign that implied he was an impious Muslim, Mr. Joko appears to have won a second term in this month’s elections.

Hannah Beech reported from Jakarta, Indonesia; Dharisha Bastians from Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Kai Schultz from New Delhi. Ellen Barry contributed reporting.

Source: nytimes.com/2019/04/21/world/asia/sri-lanka-religion-christians.html?module=MoreInSection_AMP

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/current-affairs/hannah-beech,-dharisha-bastians-and-kai-schultz/the-deadly-attacks-in-sri-lanka-highlighted-how-easily-religious-coexistence-can-be-ripped-apart-where-secularism-is-weakening/d/118382




TOTAL COMMENTS:-   5


  • I doubt Hats Off has read this article. It is a very sober coverage of the precarious state of minorities in several Asian countries. Just read the following:
    "Over the past year, deadly bombings of churches by militants claiming allegiance to the Islamic State have rocked the Philippines and Indonesia.
    "In India, the Hindu right, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has targeted Muslim and Christian minorities, the latter group because of its symbolic association with British colonialism.
    "The ruling party in Bangladesh, the secular-leaning Awami League, has partnered with conservative Muslim clerics who routinely call for the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians.
    "In Myanmar, Christian minorities fear they will be the next targets of the Buddhist-dominated government."
    Hats Off is abusing writers who honestly describe a tragic turn in world affairs. The only thing that interests him is ventilating his anti-Muslim hatred.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/23/2019 12:00:41 AM



  • a worthless pandering article that has no guts, no honesty, no sense, no decency and above all very very mischievous.
    it was very very clear from the hour after the first blast who claimed responsibility.
    worthless writers like these are the main enablers of murderous religious fanatics. and by refusing to name them the authors simply expose their gutless appeasement.
    four headless chicken cannot ever get together to write two meaningful words.
    ye article likhne waale sab chullu bhar paani mey doob marey.

    By hats off! - 4/22/2019 6:26:49 PM



  • Innocent Muslims of Sri Lanka will suffer because of the atrocities committed by a Satanic cult calling itself Islamic.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/22/2019 10:59:34 AM



  • Abdullah ibn Amr reported: A man asked, “O Messenger of Allah, whose Islam is best?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
    مَنْ سَلِمَ النَّاسُ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَيَدِهِ
    Those from whose tongue and hand people are safe.
    Source: Musnad Ahmad 6714, Grade: Sahih
    In the light of this hadith, we can judge terrorists who call themselves Muslims and destroy lives and places of worship.
    By Kaniz Fatma - 4/22/2019 5:25:53 AM



  • I strongly condemn terror attacks in Sri Lanka. 
    Terrorists are the staunch violaters of Islamic teachings. The Quranic verse 22:40 as Isharatun Nass guarantees safety of places of worship, but the terrorists have nothing to do with this Quranic message. They just want to express their Nafs-e-Ammara. 

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 4/22/2019 5:16:36 AM



Compose Your Comments here:
Name
Email (Not to be published)
Comments
Fill the text
 
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.

Content