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lk church burned wwm
The Kithu Sevana prayer centre that was destroyed.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

The leader of a Sri Lankan church destroyed by a mob earlier this month has vowed that the church will continue to meet. Kamal Wasantha, leader of the Kithu Sevana Prayer Centre, states: "No attack can stop us. We shall continue to meet and pray under a tree." Despite the attack leaving the Christian community of 15 families and 20 other worshippers nowhere to meet, they have no desire for revenge. "(We) shall not attack them in retaliation," he adds. "Judgement belongs to God."

On January 5th, a group of people, allegedly led by a Buddhist monk, attacked the church in Paharaiya, northwestern Sri Lanka. "First, they threatened us verbally," Kamal explains. "Then they came with wooden sticks, iron bars and knives, and destroyed everything. (People) begged the attackers not to damage the place of worship."

Four days prior to the attack, a Buddhist monk from Gothamiramaya reportedly threatened them with "serious punishment" if they continued to lead worship at the church. A complaint was filed with the police by the leaders of the church and warnings were given to others in the Christian community. Then on January 5th, two of the church leaders and the monk were summoned to the police station. Ironically, the attack happened that same night. About 200 witnesses named the monk and 12 other people as the attackers. The accused perpetrators of the crime remain free on bail.

The church was growing quickly and, with all its members being from other faiths, this attracted the attention of those in the village who do not tolerate Buddhists changing their religion to Christianity. Kamal, himself a Buddhist convert, says he "cannot abandon (this) mission just because of the attacks."

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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

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)

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (2019)

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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