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A village church structure in Sri Lanka

On August 24th, the leader of a village in Batticaloa District visited a church during the Sunday worship service to inquire whether it was registered. Stating that he had received an anonymous letter of complaint regarding the church, the leader insisted that the pastor officially register. Several days later, the leader again contacted the pastor to warn him of serious consequences if he did not submit a registration letter. Later that night, the pastor received several anonymous calls requesting that he come to pray for sick individuals. However, as the calls were suspicious, he remained at home.

The next Sunday, 15 villagers gathered outside the pastor's house and made false allegations against him. They also threatened that he would "face the consequences" later that night. Following through on their threat, a group of masked men attacked the pastor, his wife, 12-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son, as well as another believer, while they were walking home from visiting a Christian neighbour. The pastor's son was able to escape from the mob and inform the police. One of the assailants was arrested, while the others escaped. The pastor's wife and their two children were hospitalized as a result of the violent attack.

On Sunday, September 7th, approximately 80 people, led by a Buddhist monk, gathered outside the church and threatened to beat the pastor if the religious activities did not stop immediately.

Lift up this pastor, his family, and the other injured believer in prayer, asking our gracious God to minister complete healing to them from the aftermath of this attack. May they experience a swift and full recovery, and be encouraged to continue following Jesus despite the risks. Ask that He provide this pastor and other leaders in the area with wisdom as they interact with their neighbours, many of whom are hostile to the Christian faith. Let us also remember in prayer the Buddhist militants involved in this case, praying that the Holy Spirit will work in their lives and lead them to repentance.

To learn more about the struggles our Christian family faces in Sri Lanka, visit our 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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Sri Lanka News

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    Photo: VOMC

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    Two women praying in the foreground; others behind them, also praying
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    Photo: VOMC

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