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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 that all worship services be discontinued within 14 days or legal action will take place. (For more information, see this page.) When the church failed to comply, a different approach was taken by the officials. On October 11th, the pastor received a letter demanding that their church building be demolished within seven days. The statement warned that failure to comply will result in the demolition taking place anyway without further notice.

Following up on the threat, eight officers from the municipality arrived at the church premises on October 18th. Their intent was to take items from the church building and remove its sign. However, the pastor's house and the church building were both locked because he and his family were not home at the time. When the officers were unable to enter the premises, they left. The pastor's father-in-law, who lives nearby, observed what was happening and informed his daughter. The next day, the pastor lodged a complaint against the officers at the police station.

Much of the opposition that Christians encounter in Sri Lanka comes from local authorities and residents who oppose the presence of Christianity in their predominantly Buddhist nation. To learn more about the challenges experienced by followers of Christ in this country, go to our country report.

Prayerfully uphold this pastor and his congregation, asking God to give them wisdom as they deal with opposing neighbours and governing officials. May these believers be able to peacefully and diplomatically resolve this ongoing issue, receiving the Lord's intervention and direction in the process. Please also remember to pray for the country of Sri Lanka as a whole, asking that, in the midst of the devastating economic crisis, God would bestow His provision and peace upon the inhabitants of this struggling nation.

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

    ...
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