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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.