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Pray that many Buddhists will come to know the Saviour.

A large mob, which included Buddhist monks, stormed into a church in southern Sri Lanka on Sunday, December 9th, causing serious damage to property and injuring the pastor. According to a preliminary report from the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), the raid took place during the Sunday morning meeting in Weeraketiya, Hambanthota, a district of Southern Province. Children were in the congregation during what is being described as a "distressing attack."

The pastor of the church was reportedly hit with a rock and, as a result, has been suffering with "severe pain in his lower abdomen." Others in the congregation were injured in the attack as well. The mob destroyed furniture and equipment inside the church, as well as vehicles that were parked outside belonging to church members.

NCEASL reports that a group of Buddhist monks and lay people visited the pastor on Saturday, declaring that he needed permission from Buddhist clergy to conduct Christian services in Weeraketiya. The pastor insisted that freedom of worship was his constitutional right but the visitors threatened to destroy the church if he did not stop conducting worship services.

It appears that the mob started demonstrating outside the church before entering the building. Policemen posted outside to monitor the demonstration were overpowered and two of the officers were reportedly harmed in the attack. Additional police reinforcements and soldiers were drafted in to contain the mob. To learn more about the various challenges facing Christians in this part of the world, please go to the Sri Lanka Country Report.

Pray that the pastor, the members of his congregation, and the police officers who were wounded during the attack will make a full recovery. May the Lord use this ordeal to further strengthen the faith of these Sri Lankan believers, granting them the courage to overcome the threats of the enemy and continue meeting together. Also remember to lift up the dear children who witnessed the event and are now in need of God's reassuring comfort. Of course, we are to be mindful of our need to pray for the Lord to radically transform the hearts and minds of the persecutors.

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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