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A village in Sri Lanka.
Photo: Flickr / Adam Jones

On October 16th, 2015, a mob of around 300 villagers in a remote area of Sri Lanka prevented a Christian family from performing a burial service at a public cemetery, declaring that the burial could only take place according to Hindu rituals. Unable to bury the body at the public cemetery, the pastor attempted to perform the burial on church grounds instead. The mob then entered the church premises by force, breaking the fence and setting fire to two motorbikes that were parked on the property. After the police obtained an order from the Magistrates Court, the family was forced to bury the body of their loved one outside the village at a cemetery 23 kilometres away.

Small crimes against Christian believers in Sri Lanka are not uncommon. Over the past three months, there have been reports of multiple incidences committed against believers, pastors, and their congregations. Those of the Kagelle District have been especially targeted. Three pastors and their congregations, in particular, have experienced strong opposition from neighbouring militants. They have been insulted verbally, had their properties burned, and undergone severe pressure to close their church doors.

In one incident, a sub-inspector from the area police station approached a pastor on his church premises and demanded to see the church's registration. The pastor, who has been ministering in the area for the past 18 years, never received any notification of required registration. According to the country's legal representatives, there is no such law regarding the registration of religious worship places in Sri Lanka. For previous reports on persecution in this country, please click here.

Let us lift our voices in prayer on behalf of these targeted Christian believers in Kagelle and other areas of Sri Lanka. As a result, may they be greatly encouraged and strengthened, knowing that they are being upheld in prayer and supported by their brothers and sisters in Christ. May they also be reminded of God's promise that though they are persecuted, they are not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Cor. 4:9). Pray for God's protection over their lives and for His intervention to take place in each of these situations. And as they boldly proclaim Jesus as Saviour and Lord, may those opposing them experience His loving kindness, mercy and salvation.

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

  • Christians Ordered to Cease Worship
    Worship service
    Photo: VOMC

    On March 6th, a large mob forced their way into the Mercy Gate Chapel in Amalgama, Sri Lanka, demanding that all religious activities cease immediately. Thankfully, police were able to disperse the crowd without further incident, though Buddhist monks continued to declare that the place

    ...
  • Mob Demanded Christians to Stop Worship
    Two women praying in the foreground; others behind them, also praying
    Ask God to make His comforting presence known to Sri Lankan believers.
    Photo: VOMC

    In the late afternoon of Sunday, March 6th, a large mob consisting of approximately 600 people, including about 60 Buddhist monks, forced their way into the Mercy Gate Chapel in Amalgama, Sri Lanka. The mob demanded t

    ...
  • Christians Beaten Following Prayer Meeting
    Man praying - Photo: Pixabay
    Ask God to grant believers opportunities to safely join in the fellowship of prayer.

    On the afternoon of November 20th, the pastor of the Gospel Tabernacle Church in Polgolla, Sri Lanka, went to visit a Christian family with another member of his congregation for a time of prayer. As they were conclu

    ...
  • Family Refused Christian Burial
    A group of women praying together.
    Ask God to give Sri Lankan Christians wisdom and favour when dealing with opposing community members.

    After a member of the Grama Missionary Church in Karukkamunai, Sri Lanka, passed away, the family arranged for a funeral to be held at the public cemetery on September 27th. However, a local public

    ...