* Video on social media creates uproar among the majority of Buddhists
In the wake of self-proclaimed Prophet Jerome Fernando making derogatory remarks on Buddhism and the Buddha, Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Minister Vidura Wickramanayake said no room would be left for anyone to insult any religion and stern action would be taken against such individuals.
Over the weekend, a video showing Jerome preaching against Lord Buddha and Buddhism made its rounds on social media, creating an uproar amongst the majority of Buddhists, who demanded immediate action against the self-proclaimed Prophet for his derogatory remarks.
Some social media users even went to the extent of calling Jerome a self-proclaimed fake and demanded an apology for insulting Buddhism, while some others called for his arrest, claiming he was attempting to cause religious disharmony in the country.
In his video, Jerome claimed that in a Buddhist's mind, they never hear the love of Buddha as their focus is enlightenment. “But to be enlightened you need light. The name Buddha itself means enlightened one. So what is greater, light or enlightenment? Jesus said I am the light of the world. So I tell you now, Jesus didn't say I am the enlightened one. No, Jesus came from a different wavelength. Jesus said I am the light. So I submit to you, the Buddha was looking for light. Buddha was actually looking for Jesus. This is why every Buddhist needs Jesus,” Jerome preached in his prayer to a packed audience.
Asked for a comment in this regard, Minister Vidura said there are a number of unlawful places of religious worship, including the one in which the self-proclaimed Prophet Jerome had made such inflammatory remarks.
“We will initiate a dialogue with the establishments of all the major religions of this country for proper registration of the places of religious worship. We won’t allow unlawful centres to operate under the guise of places of religious worship,” he said.
When asked whether action would be taken against Jerome, the Minister said he would announce his decision in this regard soon.
Meanwhile, the police said they would act if a complaint was lodged against Jerome Fernando. (Kelum Bandara)
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