On Tuesday 31 May, in a tragic incident in the Ampara district of Sri Lanka, a Hindu mother murdered her 21-year-old daughter for converting from Hinduism to Christianity. The mother has since confessed to the crime and been arrested.
The incident took place after Janani went to visit her mother. Janani had converted to Christianity from her Hindu faith. Her mother questioned her about her conversion, which soon led to an argument between the two.
During the argument, Janani’s mother took a wooden plank from the bed and attacked her daughter, killing Janani instantly. She then took Janani’s body and buried her in land behind her house. She later reported that her daughter was missing.
During their investigations, the police interrogated Janani’s mother, who confessed to the murder and was arrested.
Janani was married, but her husband works overseas so they lived separately. It was whilst her husband was overseas that Janani became a Christian.
Christianity is a minority religion in Sri Lanka. Its Christian population includes members of both the Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic groups.
Sri Lanka’s overall population practices a variety of religions. According to the 2011 census, 70% of Sri Lankans are Theravada Buddhists, 13% are Hindus, 10% are Muslims, and 7% are Christians.
In Ampara district, one of 25 districts in Sri Lanka, Christians comprise less than 2% of the population (Muslims 43%, Buddhists 38% and Hindus 15%). It is located in the eastern province of the country, where the overall population is predominantly Hindu. The majority of attacks on Christians in the eastern province are by Hindu groups.