God in the North

With 99% of residents reporting strong religious convictions, the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka ranks among the top five most religious countries in the world. Though a multi-faith society, the island's majority religion is Theravada Buddhism, adherents of which make up about 70% of the populace. Undeniably, Buddhism enjoys a strong influence in Sri Lankan lifestyle, government, and law. 

 

Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity make up an additional 13%, 10%, and 7% of the population, respectively. Sri Lanka's Northern Province, where I resided, is largely made up of Hindu Tamils for whom the town of Jaffna has long since been considered the cultural and intellectual capital. In addition, there exists a vibrant Christian tradition in the North, owing to the historical presence of Dutch, British, and American missionaries.

 

While living in Jaffna during the Spring of 2018, I made a point to photograph the somewhat surprisingly large presence of Christianity I encountered.