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Key organizations that work on religious liberty issues around the world made strong statements on the state of religious freedom in the midst of the civil war in Sri Lanka and launched a global campaign calling for prayer for that nation. In what is being called "The Toronto Statement," the Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP), with member organizations that include Open Doors International (Holland), Christian Solidarity Worldwide (United Kingdom), The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada), HMK (Switzerland) and the Religious Liberty Commission of World Evangelical Alliance (representing 128 countries), is calling the worldwide Christian community to pray for the crisis in Sri Lanka.

The Toronto Statement acknowledges some positive elements within Sri Lanka, including the role that the church is playing, but expresses deep concern about the ways in which humanitarian efforts are currently being handled. In addition, the Statement calls on the worldwide church to pray for work toward the religious rights of all Sri Lankans, and to support efforts to end hostilities and seek an enduring peace.

"This is yet another example of the Christian family worldwide standing together and calling its members to pray into a complex, but very serious political situation," stated Mervyn Thomas, CEO of Christian Solidarity World, UK and Chairman of the Religious Liberty Partnership. "The Toronto Statement is in full accord with the RLP's reputation for taking a balanced approach in these issues and we trust that this call to prayer will be heeded by Christians globally."

"I believe this Statement captures the heart of what the RLP is about," said Anthony Rhodes of The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada) and member of the RLP Leadership Team. "Not only are we able to work together as individual organizations, but with a united voice speak to the issues that affect religious liberty. We pray that this collective global voice will be able to give clear direction to the government officials we petition and influence positive change in the countries like Sri Lanka where religious liberty is threatened."

The Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) is a collaborative effort of Christian organizations in over a dozen countries focused on religious liberty. The RLP seeks to more intentionally work together in addressing advocacy and in raising the awareness of religious liberty issues globally. To view the entire Toronto Statement, click here.

For detailed updates on the opposition facing Christians in Sri Lanka, go to the Sri Lanka Country Report.

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
23,044,123 (July 2021 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 (2019)

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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