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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 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

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

  • 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

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  • Christians Ordered to Cease Worship
    Worship service
    Photo: VOMC

    On March 6th, a large mob forced their way into the Mercy Gate Chapel in Amalgama, Sri Lanka, demanding that all religious activities cease immediately. Thankfully, police were able to disperse the crowd without further incident, though Buddhist monks continued to declare that the place

    ...