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For reasons known only to those responsible, the number of attacks on Christian churches in Sri Lanka has increased dramatically over the last month. A press release from the National Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) gives the following list of incidents since May 29.

The Kithu Sevana Church in Kaluvilapothane, Ambanpola has been meeting in the same location for the past ten years. On Sunday, May 29, ten Christians had gathered to pray when a crowd of approximately one hundred, together with a local Buddhist monk, disrupted their prayer meeting. The local believers were threatened and told to stop conducting meetings. A visiting pastoral worker was told to not return. Because of fears of another attack, the next prayer meeting scheduled for the following Sunday was cancelled.

In the Batticaloa District, the NCEASL, in partnership with The Voice of the Martyrs in Canada, has been constructing a leadership training centre amidst threats. On February 29, the building where construction workers stayed was burned down. On the night of June 2, the home of the family who donated the land for the training centre was set on fire. The family was able to escape without injury and extinguish the fire before the entire house was destroyed.

The Assembly of God Church building in Ambalangoda (Galle District) was destroyed in the December tsunami and the church was fortunate to purchase a new building on June 4. The following night, however, the windows of the building were smashed with rocks and bottles. The street lights had mysteriously been switched off during the attack. The next morning, a mob of around one hundred surrounded the building, hurling threats at the Christians. By mid-afternoon, the threats turned to violence as the crowd invaded the building and attacked two parishioners and the pastor. The three were brutally beaten and required treatment. One is reported to be in serious condition. Further threats of violence against the men have been reported. The church building also suffered serious damage in the attack. The pastor's van was damaged and his wallet, identification and cellular phone were stolen.

Pray that the increased violence will subside. Pray for the healing of those injured in the Ambalangoda attack. Pray for courage for the believers facing ongoing threats against them. Pray that proposed legislation banning religious conversions will not pass in the Sri Lankan parliament.

For more information on persecution in Sri Lanka, click here or visit VOMC's multimedia website, www.vomcanada.com for video news reports from Sri Lanka.

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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