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Pray for the safety of churches
and their members in Sri Lanka.


VOM Canada recently received numerous incident reports from Sri Lanka outlining concerns involving two churches. On July 21st, Divisional Secretariat Officials went to investigate a church during the pastor's absence, taking pictures and refusing to answer the caretaker's questions regarding who they were and the purpose of their visit. The officials then threatened the church members, stating that the continuance of their religious worship would result in them being taken to local police. The following day, a couple of congregation members had inquired at the Divisional Secretariat's office about the incident, only to be threatened again if they did not comply with instruction.

A separate incident took place on July 4th, this time involving a church in Padukka of Colombo District. During the pastor's early-morning prayer time, an unwelcomed stranger entered his home. Using derogatory language, the intruder threatened him, demanding that he leave the village. The following day, the pastor witnessed a group of individuals armed with stones for the purpose of destroying the church. However, they quickly dispersed upon realizing that the pastor had observed them. Later that same morning, while the worship service was in progress, a mob consisting of about 50 villagers arrived on the scene, commanding the pastor to step outside. After shouting insults, threats, and demands to have the church halt all worship activities, the mob was confronted by police officers who attempted to diffuse the situation. After the incident, the pastor was advised to be present on July 6th at the police station.

Accompanied by his lawyer for the police meeting, the pastor discussed the situation with the officer-in-charge, who happened to be a Buddhist monk. After hearing a few villagers present false testimonies, the officer ordered the pastor to discontinue all worship services immediately. When the pastor referenced his fundamental rights under the Sri Lankan Constitution, the police filed an official complaint claiming the church as an unlawful place of worship within their Buddhist village. (Other reports and informative video clips can be viewed here.)

Let's unite our hearts in unceasing prayer for believers who are being persecuted for their faith, thanking God for what He is accomplishing in the lives of many in Sri Lanka and around the world, despite the threats of those in opposition. May His people be encouraged, strengthened and equipped by the promises in Scripture -- the Sword of the Spirit -- knowing that He is watching over His Word to perform it (Ephesians 6:17; Jeremiah 1:12). Pray that these Christians will have a greater awareness of the Lord's presence, protection and love; and that there be an increase and overflow of this authentic love demonstrated through their lives. 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.

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
22,576,592 (July 2018 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
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

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

  • Churches Face Threats and Questioning
    Worship in Sri Lanka
    Pray with Sri Lankan believers as they seek to faithfully worship God.

    Churches in Sri Lanka have frequently faced harassment from community members, Buddhist religious leaders and civil authorities. To read previously published reports on some of these cases, go to our country report. The followin

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  • Pastor Ordered to Stop Worship Activities
    A church in Sri Lanka
    Pray for the churches in Sri Lanka.

    As a Sunday prayer service was concluding on October 18th, six police officers arrived at the Assemblies of God church in Bakamuna. The pastor and one of his congregation members were taken to the police station where eight Buddhist monks were awaiting them. The O

    ...
  • Disruptions by Mob Violence
    Prayer meeting in Sri Lanka - Photo: Facebook / Daniel A. Brown
    Join Sri Lankan believers in prayer.
    Photo: Facebook / Daniel A. Brown

    Mob demonstrations are a common way to disrupt and protest Christianity in the nation of Sri Lanka. Although opposition often comes from the dominant Buddhist community, two recent incidents in the Batticaloa District appear to h

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  • Pastor Harassed by Mob and Police
    Video - Sri Lanka: Persecution in Paradise
    Watch this video to gain a better understanding of the reasons behind the persecution in Sri Lanka.

    As believers gathered for worship in the village of Ihala Yakkura on the morning of February 2nd, a mob of around 150 people, led by Buddhist monks, arrived and disrupted the service by questioning th

    ...