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As approximately twenty believers gathered for worship at the Methodist Church in Piliyandala, Sri Lanka on April 23, Buddhist protesters drove along the streets with loud speakers, calling people to demonstrate against the "anti-Buddhist" Christians. As many as one hundred area residents gathered on the street by the church shouting anti-Christian slogans. Three police officers present prevented most of them from entering the church, but two monks and another man managed to get into the building and started demanding that the worship service end immediately. Seeing that the situation threatened to spiral out of control, the police requested that the pastors conclude the service as soon as possible. Not wanting to aggravate the situation, the church leaders complied.

While this was happening, the mob outside let deflated vehicle tires, toppled motorcycles and smashed the windshields of a car and van used by the ministry team. Three of the church leaders were struck as they left the building. One of the church leaders has been ordered to appear in court on April 26 regarding the incident.

Pray that the peace of God will rule the hearts of the believers in Piliyandala. Pray that they will be enabled to rejoice in the face of their trials and maintain the gentleness of Christ (Philippians 4:4-7). Pray that they will continue to boldly proclaim the truth of the gospel (2 Tim. 4:16-18).

For more information on the persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka, click here. Excerpts from a video feature, "Faith Under Fire: Sri Lanka" is available for viewing on VOMC's multimedia website, www.vomcanada.com. The full video is available in VHS or DVD through our online catalog.

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

  • Municipal Authorities Order Demolition of Church
    Scenic view of Anuradhapura District; lake in the foreground, town in the distance
    Anuradhapura District

    The "Jesus Calls You" church in Abepradesa, Anuradhapura District, has been facing repeated harassment from local municipal council members, who claim that the church is unauthorized and therefore operating illegally. On September 23rd, the pastor received a letter ordering tha

  • Churches Facing Threats of Forcible Closure
    Interior of a small church.
    A church in Sri Lanka.
    Photo: VOM Canada

    In two separate instances, churches in Sri Lanka received demands to close on the pretence that their activities were offensive to their communities. In both cases, legal action has been threatened if they fail to comply.

  • 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