Freedom of religion in Sri Lanka

Coat of arms of Sri Lanka, showing a lion holding a sword in its right forepaw surrounded by a ring made from blue lotus petals which is placed on top of a grain vase sprouting rice grains to encircle it. A Dharmacakra is on the top while a sun and moon are at the bottom on each side of the vase.
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Freedom of religion in Sri Lanka is a protected right under Chapter II, Article 9 of the constitution of Sri Lanka. This applies to all religions, though Buddhism is given primary protection as the state religion. Buddhism was given the foremost place by President J. R. Jayawardene in 1978, though Sri Lanka is regarded by its Supreme Court as being a secular country.[1]

Limitations on proselytism were outlined by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 2018, with the ruling against a Catholic organisation stating that the provision of economic and financial support to vulnerable individuals while promulgating a faith was an infringement upon those individuals' right to freedom of religion.[2][3]

Constitution

Article 9 of the constitution states: "The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e)."[4]

Articles 10 and 14(1)(e) state: "Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice." and "Every citizen is entitled to the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching.".[5]