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Pray for the safety of church members in Sri Lanka.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Shamli071

A Christian pastor and his congregation in Sri Lanka were violently assaulted by a Buddhist monk and his associates during a Sunday service on June 23rd. The sustained attack began shortly before 10 a.m. as the unsuspecting pastor went on an errand, a short distance from his New Life Church in Neluwaththuduwa, within the district of Colombo.

As the monk began to insult and attack the pastor with a tree branch, the pastor fled to his church -- only to be ambushed by 20 young men who beat him and accused him of attacking the monk. The mob then raided the church where a service was being held, and began attacking the congregation of about 70 members, including the pastor's two sons (aged 19 and three). Other members of the congregation managed to shield the pastor's wife from blows with a wooden club.

When police arrived to disperse the mob, five Christians, including the pastor, were taken to a local police station for interview, along with the monk and some of the other assailants. The pastor was able to register a case against his attackers. This attack took place just a week after a violent mob armed with clubs, knives and swords attacked a Methodist congregation in Valachchennai. For previous reports of persecution, go to the Sri Lanka Country Report.

Pray that the governing authorities of Sri Lanka, including the police, will act swiftly and decisively to curb this anti-Christian violence. Ultimately, may God's peace, protection and blessings be upon the pastor, his family, the New Life Church congregation, and also the members of the Methodist congregation, as they continue to reach out to others in their communities (including their enemies) with His redeeming love.

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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