In this photo by Eranga Jayawardena, a Roman Catholic devotee prays at a church in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. The Indian Ocean island nation, which was wracked by civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels that ended in 2009, is preparing to welcome Pope Francis on his three-day visit beginning Jan. 13. It comes five days after the country's presidential elections in which the two main candidates promised to refrain from violence. Ethnic and religious tensions remain high, with extremists among the majority Sinhalese and Buddhist population accusing minority Muslims and Christians of undermining their faith. Mobs have attacked churches and burned Muslim homes and shops over the past several months.
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