Buddhist monks to run in Sri Lanka’s national elections.

By March 1, 2004

Sri Lanka (VOM/MNN)–When Sri Lankans elect a new government on April 2, religion will play a significant role.
According to Voice of the Martyrs Canada, the Supreme Council of Monks had been pressuring the two main political parties, pledging their support if the party would enact new laws banning “unethical conversions.”

When it appeared that neither party would accept these conditions, the monks put forward the names of 260
leading monks as candidates under the Jathika Hela Urumaya Party (National Heritage Party).

This is the first time that Buddhist monks have entered Sri Lankan politics as candidates, and their presence in the political arena is causing concerns among Christians who have been facing severe persecution in recent months.

The monks pledge to build a nation based on “Dhamma values” (the basis of the Buddhist worldview) and said that they entered the race because of political corruption and concerns about alleged “unethical
conversions.”

The monks defended their decision to enter politics, saying that they would give “due place” to other religions and not threaten them. However, many of the acts of aggression against Christians in Sri Lanka in recent months have been organized and led by Buddhist monks.

Please pray for those involved in evangelistic work in Sri Lanka.

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