Christians are threatened as Sri Lanka looks at a sinister proposal.

By October 3, 2005

Sri Lanka (MNN)–There’s word that the Buddhist monks behind pending anti-conversion legislation have found another way to push their anti-Christian agenda.

It was a surprise move, and one that threatens religious minorities, like Christians.

The 19th amendment was first proposed by the Buddhist Jathika Hela Urumaya (National Heritage Party) last October. The Supreme Court ruled then that it was unconstitutional in December 2004.

The court said that the amendment would require a larger than usual two-thirds majority vote in Parliament and a referendum before it could be approved.

Open Doors USA’s President, Carl Moeller. “There’s a move to make a constitutional amendment to make Buddhism the state religion of Sri Lanka. That’s going to be considered by the Sri Lankan Parliament on October 4th. Some of the provisions of this law are extremely restrictive on Christians.”

The constitution currently requires those in governmen to “protect and nurture Buddhism.” Under one article of the new legislation, “spreading other forms of worship among the Buddhists” would be prohibited.

Moeller explains one of the more sinister clauses in the amendment. “It would require citizens who are in a Buddhist home to bring up their offspring in the same faith.”
Such restrictions could have a profound impact on the evangelization of the future generation. “You can imagine,” Moeller says, “the restrictions that would be imposed on Sunday Schools, or children’s programs in a given community.”

What does that mean? Moeller says, “Anyone convicted or caught proselytizing or converting Christians could face severe restrictions and penalties under this Constitutional amendment.”

The bill stipulates prison sentences of up to five years and/or a stiff fine for anyone found guilty. Believers are asked to pray for Christian work in the region.

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