Jehovah’s Witnesses have been active in Sri Lanka since 1910. They established an office to coordinate their religious activity in 1952 and registered their legal entity, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Lanka, in 1981. In general, they are free to practice their religion.
The main issue the Witnesses contend with is mob violence incited by extremist Buddhist monks. In most cases, the authorities compound the problem because they fail to protect the Witnesses and refuse to prosecute the perpetrators. In 2014 the UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern, urging the government to stop these attacks and to prosecute all reported incidents of violence against religious minorities such as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Witnesses have appealed both to the high courts and to government authorities of Sri Lanka to address the problem. Jehovah’s Witnesses hope that in the future they can enjoy religious freedom in Sri Lanka without fear of being attacked by religious extremists.