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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 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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Sri Lanka News

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