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Two women praying in the foreground; others behind them, also praying
Ask God to make His comforting presence known to Sri Lankan believers.
Photo: VOMC

In the late afternoon of Sunday, March 6th, a large mob consisting of approximately 600 people, including about 60 Buddhist monks, forced their way into the Mercy Gate Chapel in Amalgama, Sri Lanka. The mob demanded that all religious activities of the church cease immediately and mandated the place of worship be closed. The aggressors also threatened the life of the pastor if he continued to lead worship services. In the midst of the confrontation, one of the church members was injured but released from hospital the next day.

During the incident, around 20 police officers were present, including the Officer in Charge (OIC). The officers informed the monks that there was no legal basis for a forceful closure of the church since that decision would require a legal order. The mob refused to leave, however, and demanded that they be allowed to inspect the interior of the building. After being assured that no damage would be done, the pastor allowed four of the monks to enter the church.

During the inspection, the OIC and accompanying monks questioned the pastor about the Christian activities taking place at the church facility. Following this meeting, the monks informed the mob that it was not a legitimate church. Thankfully, the crowd dispersed shortly after. A police report has since been filed, including a complaint against the mob harassment and the monks who orchestrated the intrusion. At last report, the police are apparently looking into the matter.

Praise God that no damages had been made by the mob to the church building and that limited injuries took place during the volatile gathering. Further, thank Him for intervening by guiding the officers in their attempts to diffuse the anger of the mob. Pray that there will be no more animosity expressed towards the pastor or the church members, allowing these believers to attend worship services in peace.

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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