Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka share a common history of British colonial rule, and have experienced missionary activities from Christians that date back many centuries. A Muslim majority is found in Pakistan (95%) and Bangladesh (89.5%), while Hinduism is the dominant religion in India (80.5%) and Buddhism in Sri Lanka (69.1%). All of these countries have developed in different ways following the retreat of colonialism and have treated religious and ethnic minorities in different ways. Amongst the Christians of South Asia Roman Catholics are a distinct majority, followed by Protestants – Charismatic, Pentecostal and new apostolic churches are all gaining in importance. The historic Syriac and Mar-Thoma churches that predate European colonialism also retain a presence. In Myanmar the substantial Christian population of 4.3 million, like the country’s rather larger Muslim community, is regarded with suspicion in a country that sees itself as a Buddhist state. The ruling army has increased its activities against ethnic minorities (including Christians) in the predominantly Christian states.
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