Church torched in Sri Lanka

A church has been burnt down in Sri Lanka amid increasing attacks on the island-country's Christian minority.

    Christians account for only 7.5% of the island's population

    A member of the Catholic church on Tuesday said dozens of men stormed overnight into the "Shrine of the Mother Most Pure" at Mattegoa, 18km east of the capital Colombo and escaped after torching the premises.

    "They smashed statues, burnt Bibles and part of the building," church Director Srahi Bongso said.

    The attack came three days after President Chandrika Kumaratunga vowed tough action against those responsible for a spate of attacks against Christian places of worship.

    Nine days ago, there was another attack on a Catholic church in the same area.

    The Roman Catholic Church has condemned the "desecrations."

    Simmering tensions

    Tensions have been brewing between the country's Buddhist-majority and Christian-minority over ''unethical religious conversions".

    Several Buddhist monks have accused Christian priests of promoting conversions to Christianity through cash bribes.

    Christians make up 7.5% of Sri Lanka's population and Buddhists account for nearly 70% of the island's 18.66 million people.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.