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An outdoor church structure in Sri Lanka.

A pastor from a local district in Sri Lanka was abducted and assaulted by someone who duped him into believing a sick relative was in need of prayer. After being persuaded to follow a man who requested a pastoral visit for his allegedly ailing mother, the innocent pastor was driven to a nearby Buddhist worship site. During this time, the kidnapper made threats on his life if he didn't kneel and request the forgiveness of the opposing religious leaders. However, since the site was occupied when the men arrived, the kidnapper and his accomplice drove the pastor to an isolated area instead where they threatened to destroy his church unless he closed it down. The pastor was then beaten by the assailants and left abandoned.

Over the past two months, there have been several incidents in which Sri Lankan pastors have been harassed, assaulted and ordered to stop church activities. The rise of militant Buddhist nationalist groups in Sri Lanka during the past few years has intensified the persecution of Christians. To date, more than 250 churches have been destroyed or damaged in the sectarian violence. While the Sri Lankan constitution claims religious freedom for all, minority evangelical Christians (representing only about one percent of the population) have experienced violent persecution, as well as discrimination in employment and education. Previous news reports on persecution in Sri Lanka can be found at VOMC's country report.

Please intercede on behalf of the victimized pastor and his church, requesting that this community of believers be shielded from any further threat of danger. In fact, may the Lord provide supernatural protection for all of Sri Lanka's pastoral leaders, as well as their families and congregants, especially those who are being targeted for boldly testifying of their faith. In addition, pray for an increased measure of faith, wisdom and guidance as these pastors continue to minister amid the mounting challenges in order that many others will experience God's love and salvation -- including those opposing them.

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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Sri Lanka News

  • Churches Face Threats and Questioning
    Worship in Sri Lanka
    Pray with Sri Lankan believers as they seek to faithfully worship God.

    Churches in Sri Lanka have frequently faced harassment from community members, Buddhist religious leaders and civil authorities. To read previously published reports on some of these cases, go to our country report. The followin

    ...
  • Pastor Ordered to Stop Worship Activities
    A church in Sri Lanka
    Pray for the churches in Sri Lanka.

    As a Sunday prayer service was concluding on October 18th, six police officers arrived at the Assemblies of God church in Bakamuna. The pastor and one of his congregation members were taken to the police station where eight Buddhist monks were awaiting them. The O

    ...
  • Disruptions by Mob Violence
    Prayer meeting in Sri Lanka - Photo: Facebook / Daniel A. Brown
    Join Sri Lankan believers in prayer.
    Photo: Facebook / Daniel A. Brown

    Mob demonstrations are a common way to disrupt and protest Christianity in the nation of Sri Lanka. Although opposition often comes from the dominant Buddhist community, two recent incidents in the Batticaloa District appear to h

    ...