Christianity in Sri Lanka

Christians in Sri Lanka
6th century, known as the Anuradhapura cross plays a significant role in Christians in Sri Lanka.
6th century, known as the Anuradhapura cross plays a significant role in Christians in Sri Lanka.
Total population
1,509,606 (2012)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Western 752,993
 North Western 300,367
 Northern 204,005
 Central 90,519
 Eastern 80,801

Christianity is a minority religion in Sri Lanka. Christianity was introduced to the island in first century, probably in AD 72.[2] Traditionally, after Thomas the Apostle's visit in Kerala in AD 52, Christianity is said to have been introduced via India because of its close geographical and commercial ties.[3] According to Christian traditions, the apostle Thomas preached the Gospel in Sri Lanka[4] Records suggest that St. Thomas Christians and Nestorian Christians lived in Sri Lanka.[5] Anuradhapura cross is one of the archaeological claims that suggest Christianity in Sri Lanka before[6] Portuguese.[7][8] Roman Catholicism was introduced by the Portuguese in 1505. There were conversions by Dutch persons in the 17th century, which resulted in a percentage of church members in excess of 10%.

The Christian population of Sri Lanka includes members of both the Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic groups.

  1. ^ "A3 : Population by religion according to districts, 2012". Census of Population & Housing, 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  2. ^ "A Brief History Of Christianity In Sri Lanka". 
  3. ^ Aprem, Mar. "Early Christianity in Sri Lanka and India and Issues of Identity". Assyrian International News Agency. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Hattaway, Paul (2004). "Peoples of the Buddhist World: A Christian Prayer Diary". William Carey Library. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Pinto, Leonard. "A Brief History Of Christianity In Sri Lanka". Colombo Telegraph. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Forgotten Christian World". History Today. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Mar Aprem Metropolitan Visits Ancient Anuradhapura Cross in Official Trip to Sri Lanka". Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Weerakoon, Rajitha. "Did Christianity exist in ancient Sri Lanka?". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). Retrieved 26 February 2015. 

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