Sri Lanka attacks
St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo. (Image: AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne, file)

Last weekend's deadly Sri Lankan bombings have underscored rising religious intolerance and the fragility of inter-religious peace in South Asia and, increasingly, significant parts of Southeast Asia.

This peace has been almost completely unstitched in Pakistan, if indeed it really every existed there. Attacks on the small Christian minority -- that nonetheless counts about 2.5 million adherents, half Catholic and half Protestant -- are a depressingly regular occurrence. The past few Easters have seen violence rip through Christian communities in the world’s second largest Muslim nation after Indonesia. In 2016, 75 people were killed in a heavily Catholic Lahore neighbourhood as hundreds of families celebrated in a park after Easter Mass. In 2018, also during Easter, four Protestants were shot dead by Islamic radicals in the city of Quetta. There have been numerous other deadly attacks outside Holy Week in recent years.