National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka Condemns Siege of Mosque

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On 25th of April, 2012, the general secretary of National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka , established 1952 and a member body of the World Evangelical Alliance, published the following press release against the siege of a mosque by a Buddhist mob:

By: National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL)

We strongly condemn the blatant display of religious intolerance which occurred on Friday 20th April 2012, where the Mosque in the Dambulla town was laid siege to by a large mob, claiming that the Mosque was built on sacred Buddhist land and hence illegal. The Mosque in question has been in existence for over 50 years. The Muslim devotees were prevented from engaging in Jummah prayers and the Mosque was sealed by the Police. It is unthinkable that a democratic country should consider the demolition of a place of worship sacred to one religious community in order to preserve the sanctity of another. All religious sites are equally sacred and should be treated with respect by all communities.

The frequency of similar acts of religious intolerance against minority religious communities is disturbing, particularly at this juncture of our history where we are emerging from a devastating war which polarized our society ethnically. The Sri Lankan social fabric is made up of many ethnic and religious communities and every one of them should be respected and protected as per the Constitution of Sri Lanka which grants to all citizens the freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the right to practice their religion either alone or with others in any part of the country.

We call upon the government to resolve this matter in a just and equitable manner, to treat all religions with equal respect in keeping with our Constitutional and to desist from practicing or promoting either directly or tacitly, any act or procedure which discriminates against one community or favours another.

We call upon all religious leaders to exercise respect for all religions and to resolve any issues of contention through amicable dialogue rather than inciting religious hatred and to promote a culture of unity, acceptance and magnanimity.