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Sri Lanka's Christian community is facing renewed concerns about future religious freedoms following the results from the November 17 presidential election. Prior to his election, Mahinda Rajapakse had formed an alliance with the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a party composed entirely of Buddhist monks whose primary purpose has been to pass anti-conversion legislation in Sri Lanka. In his first address as president, Rajapakse pledged to protect Buddhism but also provide freedom for all other religions. It remains to be seen how this will be demonstrated. His appointment of Ratnasiri Wickramanayake as Prime Minister raises further concerns. Wickramanayake had previously served as Minister of Buddhism and was responsible for the introduction of the government's anti-conversion bill, ironically called the "Freedom of Religion Bill." For more information on Sri Lanka, click here. A video report from Sri Lanka is also available at www.vomcanada.com.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC supports persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka as they witness for Christ in hostile environments through Biblical training, legal aid, and advocacy, as well as rehabilitation and emergency assistance.

Project Funds: Relief and Development, Legal Defense

Country Information

Population
22,576,592 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Sinhalese (74.9), Sri Lankan Tamil (11.2), Sri Lankan Moors (9.2), Indian Tamil (4.2), other (0.5)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (70.2), Hinduism (12.6), Islam (9.7), Roman Catholic (6.1), Evangelical Christianity (2.0)

Leader
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and Jaffna Tamil customary law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Sri Lanka

Let's unite our hearts in prayer for those in Sri Lanka who are being persecuted for their faith, thanking God for what He is accomplishing despite the opposition. Ask that His people will be encouraged, strengthened and equipped by the promises of the Bible – the Sword of the Spirit – knowing that He is watching over His Word to perform it (Ephesians 6:17; Jeremiah 1:12). May they not only overcome the strategies of the enemy, but also serve as effective witnesses to those in need of eternal salvation and deliverance from spiritual captivity.

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Sri Lanka News

  • Churches Face Threats and Questioning
    Worship in Sri Lanka
    Pray with Sri Lankan believers as they seek to faithfully worship God.

    Churches in Sri Lanka have frequently faced harassment from community members, Buddhist religious leaders and civil authorities. To read previously published reports on some of these cases, go to our country report. The followin

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  • Pastor Ordered to Stop Worship Activities
    A church in Sri Lanka
    Pray for the churches in Sri Lanka.

    As a Sunday prayer service was concluding on October 18th, six police officers arrived at the Assemblies of God church in Bakamuna. The pastor and one of his congregation members were taken to the police station where eight Buddhist monks were awaiting them. The O

    ...
  • Disruptions by Mob Violence
    Prayer meeting in Sri Lanka - Photo: Facebook / Daniel A. Brown
    Join Sri Lankan believers in prayer.
    Photo: Facebook / Daniel A. Brown

    Mob demonstrations are a common way to disrupt and protest Christianity in the nation of Sri Lanka. Although opposition often comes from the dominant Buddhist community, two recent incidents in the Batticaloa District appear to h

    ...