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On January 22, the Assembly of God Church in the village of Bolatha (Bolaththa), Gampaha District, Sri Lanka was threatened by a Buddhist mob and told to stop holding services (click here for more information). Under duress, the pastor agreed on February 6 to hold services only for local Christians and not for those from surrounding villages. The following Sunday, February 12, fifteen people gathered outside the church gates and questioned each person as to where they were from. Anyone from a village other than Bolatha was chased away. The pastor was summoned to the police station where he clarified that the previous agreement had been obtained under pressure. He stated that, in Sri Lanka, any person has a right to worship at a church or temple of his choice. He could not, therefore, ask congregation members to stay away.

Though they faced threats of violence, the church was determined to hold services on February 19. The attendance was small, as about 20 members stayed away for fear of reprisals but some Christians from other villages attended the service. There were no reports of trouble.

Thank God for these believers' boldness in not being intimidated by the threats they received. Pray that they will continue to be bold in their witness for Christ and gentle in their approach toward those who made the threats. Pray for those who stayed away in fear. Pray that they will allow Christ to rule in their lives and not fear (1 Peter 3:13-17).

For more information on the persecution facing Sri Lankan Christians, click here. Video reports from Sri Lanka are available on VOMC's multimedia website, www.vomcanada.com.

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

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)

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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Sri Lanka News

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    Photo: VOM Canada

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Andreas Schwarzkopf (cc)

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