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Recognition of religion or belief in Sri Lanka

According to the standards set out in the SRR, conditions for RoRB in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka are classified restrictive.

Recognition of religion or belief in Sri Lanka


  • Theravada Buddhism is the state denomination.

  • Existential recognition is extended to belief systems Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity yet there exists no mechanism for any other belief systems to receive the same degree of recognition which in turn creates a system of partial recognition.

  • Recognition and registration are differentiated yet access to the former for all belief systems is limited while legal registration as the latter is largely ambiguous regarding criteria for its achievement.

  • Although the Sri Lankan system is stipulatory, the requirement for groups to register that wish to construct places of worship or conduct missionary activity which are activities central to religion in effect makes registration borderline mandatory which in turn violates the Bielefeldt provision.

  • The function of parliament to grant legal registration does politicisation the process.

Positive elements:

  • Nil.


  • Establish provisions for existential recognition that give equal opportunity for all belief systems to access this form of recognition; this equality may not be able to be achieved without Theravada's disestablishment as the state denomination.

  • Revoke involvement of the parliament or prime minister from the registration process in order to halt politicisation.

  • To become dynamic, establish a recognition agency to manage the recognition system independent of government influence or intervention.

RoRB Topic
RoRB Compliance
RoRB Classification
Country or territory
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