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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 have been instigated by Hindu leaders.

On July 19th, a group of 45 people, including a member of the Hindu temple's board of trustees, forced their way into the Jesus Witness Church in Kommanthurai soon after the worship service had concluded. During the attack, the pastor and his family were assaulted and chairs were broken. The pastor's mobile phone was also damaged after he attempted to record the incident, which has since been reported to the police.

On August 8th, a funeral service in Palliyadithona was halted when approximately 50 villagers raided the cemetery and demanded that the funeral be conducted according to Hindu rites. The pastor called the police and the burial was finally able to take place two hours later, under the watchful protection of several officers.

While Christians can officially gather for worship in Sri Lanka, the tensions caused by opposing community members have become more complex. These followers of Christ are now finding themselves caught between the predominantly Buddhist Sinhalese population and the mainly Hindu Tamils. More information on the persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka is available here.

Please pray for the emotional, physical, and spiritual protection of Christians in Sri Lanka as they seek to practise their faith by faithfully gathering for worship despite the threat of danger. As they demonstrate the love and grace of God, may their commitment to the teachings of Jesus serve as a powerful testimony to those around them. Pray that the hearts of all people groups in Sri Lanka -- including those opposing the churches -- will be open to the Gospel so they too will understand the truth of God's Word and turn in faith to Christ.

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

  • 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