The Museum of Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka was imagined as an inclusive space for archiving, learning, and critically reflecting on the complex histories and contemporary concerns relating to the freedom of religion or belief in Sri Lanka.
We invite visitors to explore our interactive, thematized collections weaving together digitized visual and material artefacts, archival documents, and audio-visual community narratives and oral histories to engage with issues and questions of religious freedom in Sri Lanka from the colonial period to the present day. The museum was designed to capture the rich textures and sensory details of religious life, history, and coexistence in Sri Lanka. It also aims to encourage further learning, reflection and informed conversation on the tensions, violence, and enduring institutional constraints and faultlines that continue to hinder religious freedom and harmony in the island. The extensive primary and secondary research that informed the work of the museum has also been made available through the museum repository for the benefit of students and researchers. We are further committed to sustaining an online and offline public programme including exhibitions, guest lectures, workshops, and an e-learning platform centred on our wider communities to promote greater literacy in and respect for the freedom of religion and belief in Sri Lanka. With a view of sharing these values that were foundational to its establishment, we envision the Museum of Religious Freedom as a dynamic and participatory space and community of learning together.
This museum is supported by UNAOC, CKU Denmark and UNDP. The museum was a recipient of the Intercultural Innovation Award by the UNAOC and the BMW Group in 2019.
The Museum Team is grateful to its community partners across Sri Lanka for their invaluable contributions, guidance, and testimony to the research and development of this museum as an inclusive and participatory space for learning and reflection.
Godfrey Yogarajah, Ambassador for Religious Freedom, World Evangelical Alliance
Prof. Farzana Haniffa, Professor, Department of Sociology at the University of Colombo
Dr Janaki Jayawardena, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Colombo.
Prof. Harshana Rambukwella, Director, Postgraduate Institute of English, Open University of Sri Lanka
Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda, Former Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Colombo
Prof. Thamilmaran, Head, Department of Public & International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo
Javid Yusuf, Attorney at Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. Former commissioner of the Human Rights Commission Of Sri Lanka.
Prof. GPV Somarathna, Former Professor of Modern History at the University of Colombo
Prof. Nirmal Dewsiri, Senior Lecturer of the Department of History, University of Colombo
Dr Gehan Gunatilleke, Attorney at Law, Research Fellow, University of Oxford
Dr Vindhya Buthpitiya
M G Rathnakanthan
Design and Development
Shanil Wijesinghe | Motion Miracles