This ministry has been established as the Ministry of Buddhasasana from 16th June 1988 as a Ministry exclusively within the scope of Buddhism. The name of the ministry has been amended including subjects such as spiritual development, moral development simultaneously existing to the religious affairs in addition to the role in regard of Buddhism entitled to this ministry at the beginning.
Thereafter, this Ministry was established as the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs by the Gazette Notification No. 2187 / 27 dated on 09 August 2020 taking all the religious affairs under control of a single Ministry.
At the present the role of this Ministry is spread over three main areas namely, Buddhist, other religious and cultural. The Republic of Sri Lanka gives prominence to Buddhism, protect and foster the Buddhasasana as mentioned in Article 9 of the Constitution of this country. This duty is entitled to our ministry and also the Department of Buddhist Affairs and Buddhasasana Fund is established under this ministry for this purpose.
The rights granted to all the religions should be protected as mentioned in Article 9 of the Constitution and the Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs, the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs, the Department of Christian Religious Affairs are under the purview of the Ministry for taking relevant actions for this purpose. The activities relevant for promoting cultural field are being carried by the separately established Cultural Division.