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A May 31 report from the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) recounts three situations in which pastors have faced threats from police in the past two weeks.

On May 19, pastors went to meet with police over threats received by an Assembly of God Church in Polonnaruwa. Rather than receiving support from the police, they were instructed to stop all Christian activities and to not build any church buildings in Polonnaruwa, since it is a Buddhist area. They were threatened with arrest for breach of peace if they continued to meet in the area.

Charges of breach of peace have been filed against the pastoral worker of an independent church in Halpita, Polgasowita. On May 15, Buddhist protestors demanded that the church be closed. On May 27, the pastoral worker was summoned to appear before the Kesbewa Magistrates Court on May 30.

On May 30, a pastor in the village of Bendiwewa was asked to come to the local police station for a discussion with the local Buddhist monk and community leaders. The pastor was asked to explain the ministry of the church. Stating that they do not wish to resort to violence, the monk and leaders requested that a church building not be built in the village and the pastor not engage in evangelism. The police requested that the pastor confine all his activities to the five Christian families in the church. He was given the impression that he would be welcome to stay if he did not introduce Christianity to anyone outside of the church.

Pray for each of these churches facing opposition from members of the community as well as the authorities. Pray that all charges will be dropped. Pray that the proposed anti-conversion legislation will not pass in the Sri Lankan parliament. Pray that Sri Lankan Christians will continue to share their faith despite pressure to remain silent.

For more information on Sri Lanka and the difficulties facing Christians there, click here. Video clips from Sri Lanka are also available on VOMC's multimedia website, www.vomcanada.com.

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
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.

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