Date: November 23, 2022
Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following new report:
Sri Lanka Country Update – This report provides an overview of religious freedom conditions in Sri Lanka in 2022. This past year, the country sank into a severe economic crisis that precipitated a serious lack of fuel and basic necessities. As a result of this crisis and overall dissatisfaction with the government, citizens from across the country launched a major protest movement that called for systemic change in governance. Prior to and during the protests which led to the July resignation of then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, religious freedom violations occurred involving the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), discrimination against Muslims and other religious minorities, and land disputes which threaten religious minority property. In the aftermath of the protests, Sri Lankan authorities harassed religious actors associated with the protest movement and intimidated minority religious communities.
USCIRF previously reported on Sri Lanka in its 2014 and 2015 Annual Reports, in publications regarding global blasphemy laws and limitations on minorities’ religious freedom in South Asia, and in the 2021 Sri Lanka Country Update. Additionally, USCIRF highlighted religious freedom conditions in Sri Lanka during an August 2022 episode of the USCIRF Spotlight Podcast.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a commissioner, please contact USCIRF at