(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Sri Lankan believers worshiping

The church in Sri Lanka has been facing increasing violence and discrimination in the past year. Contributing to the problem has been a recent rise in Hindu extremism taking root alongside the long-time Buddhist aggression.

From January through to September, the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) reported 67 incidents. In one example, a mob of about 100 people from surrounding villages attacked a church building in Beliatta, demanding an end to worship services and threatening the lives of the pastor and his family. Three days later, about 500 people gathered in protest, forcing the pastor and his family into police protection.

Hindu nationalist groups, such as the RSS, have also extended their reach from India into Sri Lanka. Meetings with Hindu villagers have promoted hatred and violence against Christians in their communities, particularly in areas of eastern Sri Lanka. VOMC's partner, NCEASL, has been able to assist victims of violence, including the help they require when filing charges against those responsible.

While Christians have often been able to respond with forgiveness and move on, the persecution can be discouraging as well. An attorney with the NCEASL reported: "It has been a sad situation. On one hand there has been growth in the church because of persecution, but there have also been instances where it has completely broken the church." For more accounts on the challenges facing the Sri Lankan church, go to the Sri Lanka Country Report.

May the peace, strength and encouragement of the Lord fill the hearts and minds of Christians throughout Sri Lanka. Pray for the NCEASL and other organizations that are helping them through these difficult times. Also intercede for their persecutors, that they will witness the love of Christ and reach out to Him in faith.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC supports persecuted Christians who are serving as faithful witnesses for Christ among hostile environments through the provision of Biblical training, legal aid and advocacy, as well as rehabilitation and emergency assistance.

Project Funds: Relief and Development, Legal Defence

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
Ranil Wickremesinghe (July 2022)

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.

end

Select a Region

Sri Lanka News

  • Upheaval Causes Concerns for Churches
    Flowers surrounding a poster saying, ''Pray for Sri Lanka''
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Andreas Schwarzkopf (cc)

    As the nation of Sri Lanka faces its worst political and economic crisis in recent years, life for the common people has been severely impacted. Anti-government protests have led to a crackdown by authorities, introducing restrictive measures to

    ...
  • 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

    ...