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On August 6 and 9, twenty-two petitions were presented to the Sri Lankan Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of a proposed law severely restricting religious conversions. Members of the Buddhist JHU party, who had introduced the bill, also presented petitions in favour. The court is expected to give their decision to the Speaker of the Parliament on August 12. If the court rejects the legislation, a second, even more restrictive law, could be tabled.

 

Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera

Christians throughout Sri Lanka have been working together in opposition to these bills. The general secretary of the JHU party, Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera, claims that many Catholics support this legislation, despite press releases by the Catholic Bishops' Conference in opposition to the bill (see http://www.srilankanchristians.com/press2.html). Godfrey Yogarajah, General Secretary of the NCEASL, describes the proposed law as a violation of basic human rights and urges those who support the bill to reconsider. "We are already fragmented racially," he says. "Do we need religious fragmentation as well?"

Pray that the judges will recognize the restrictions that such legislation will place on religious freedom in Sri Lanka. Continue to pray for Christians throughout Sri Lanka facing opposition and violence from religious extremists.

For more information on the problems facing Christians in Sri Lanka, click here.

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

  • Family Refused Christian Burial
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    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

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  • Churches Face Threats and Questioning
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    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

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  • 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

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