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Christians continue to experience harassment and violence in various areas of Sri Lanka, according to a November 21 report from the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL).

On October 29, the Assembly of God church in Yakkala faced a mob demanding that the church cease holding services (click here for more details). Despite the threats, the church held services the next week unhindered (click here to read more). However, the following Sunday, November 12, mobs gathered on the roads leading to the church. Anti-Christian posters were put up and over one hundred Buddhist protestors, some armed with clubs, prevented the Christians from attending services. The Christians were threatened and verbally abused as the protestors blocked their way. The pastor called the police, but only two officers arrived and were unable to control the crowd. Re-enforcements were then called and the mob eventually disbursed.

Also on November 12, the Mizpah Prayer Ministry congregation in Nawalapitiya was gathered for worship when a mob disrupted the service and demanded that it stop immediately. The congregation was chased away by the mob, which included twelve Buddhist monks, a member of the local government and two journalists from local newspapers. "We were threatened that if we gathered together for worship again, the building will be flattened," the pastor said. The mob later returned and threatened Christian workers who were still at the church. One was hit with a club and some of the chairs were broken.

On the same day in Anamaduwa, four members of the Prayer Tower church were returning from a funeral service when they were accosted by several men. The Christians were beaten and had stones thrown at them. When the pastor of the church reported the incident to the police, the attackers accused the church of disturbing the neighbours with their loud worship. The pastor countered their accusations by pointing out that all of the neighbours were Christians and that the worship service was only one hour long each week. The attackers promised to not harass the church members again.

Pray that Christians in Ski Lanka will be able to meet together without opposition. Pray their passion will draw others to Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16). Ask God to thwart the attempts of those who seek to intimidate believers through violence, threats and destruction.

For more information on the persecution facing Christians in Sri Lanka, click here.

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

    ...
  • 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

    ...