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The World’s Biggest Christmas Tree Hasn’t Helped Sri Lankan Christians

Attacks on minority faiths keep increasing in the majority-Buddhist island nation.
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The World’s Biggest Christmas Tree Hasn’t Helped Sri Lankan Christians
Image: Eye Focus / iStock

The South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka earned its place in the Guinness Book of World Records last year with the world’s tallest artificial Christmas tree, reaching a height of 72.1 meters, or about 237 feet.

The record-setting display was built by Arjuna Ranatunga Social Services, an effort led by legendary Sri Lankan cricket captain and politician Arjuna Ranatunga.

Located at Galle Face Green, a park in the capital city of Columbo, the artificial tree was erected as a steel and wire frame, draped with plastic netting, and decorated with 6 million LED bulbs; more than a million red, green, gold, and silver pine cones; and a star top spanning 6 meters (20 feet).

Though government official Mahinda Nanayakkara is a Buddhist—like more than 70 percent of the population in Sri Lanka—he was the one to present the idea of the tree to Ranatunga almost four years before it became a reality in 2016.

The Roman Catholic Church initially criticized the $80,000 project, with Cardinal ...

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