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Sri Lanka map and flagOn the morning of February 10th, while the youth of Calvary Church in Morawaka were engaged in a prayer meeting, a police officer accompanied by approximately 30 villagers arrived at the church demanding that the youth stop their religious worship activities. The villagers then forcefully attempted to take away their Bibles.

After being instructed to attend a meeting at the Morawaka Police Station that same day, the pastor's wife and two other congregants met with the Officer in Charge early in the afternoon. The officer instructed them to first register their place of worship with the local Divisional Secretariat, and then obtain a certificate of registration for submission to the police station. He further stated that, until such time, they should stop conducting religious worship activities.

"According to Sri Lankan law," states a legal representative of NCEASL, "there is no legal requirement to register places of religious worship with the government." This incident follows a series of unwarranted attacks on various churches in Sri Lanka since January. To review a previous report on the destruction of a church that took place earlier this year due to persecution, click here.

Prayerfully uphold the pastoral leaders of Calvary Church, and those legally representing them, as they meet with governing authorities regarding the worship services. May the Holy Spirit serve as their Advocate during the mediation process, granting them wisdom, the appropriate words to speak, as well as the ability to rejoice in trial (Mark 13:11; Romans 15:13). Also pray for the young people who were unfairly interrupted during their prayer gathering, asking the Lord to strengthen their spiritual resolve and fervency in prayer -- further impacting the ministry of the church and its vital outreach in the community.