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Monks walking along a tree covered road.
Roughly 70 percent of Sri Lankans follow Buddhism.

The Pentecostal Assembly congregation in Dodangoda, Sri Lanka, is made up of about seven families who regularly meet in the home of their pastor. On February 12th, while the Sunday worship service was in progress, approximately seven police officers arrived at the home. They informed the pastor that local monks, who had issued a complaint about the Sunday services, claimed that the meetings were being conducted illegally.

The next day, the pastor and another church member went to the local police station where they were met by seven monks, along with other villagers. One of the monks stated that because theirs was a Buddhist village, all Christian services must be discontinued. The monk continued by explaining that while the pastor is permitted to pray with his own family, he must refrain from conducting services involving other villagers. The pastor replied that no one was forced to join in the church meetings, further stating that he is the legal owner of the property.

Shortly after the incident at the police station, plans were made for another meeting to take place on February 17th. On that scheduled day, however, approximately 50 villagers gathered around the pastor's house, demanding an end to all worship activities. In addition, they threatened the pastor if he continued. Because of the antagonistic nature of this demonstration, police were called to the scene. However, by the time the officers arrived, the crowd had dispersed. The commissioned officers then asked the pastor to inform them of any future incidents.

Opposition from local Buddhist monks is common, particularly in rural areas of Sri Lanka. For more information, and/or to review previous reports, go to our country report.

On behalf of the Christians facing opposition in this predominantly Buddhist nation, pray that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard the hearts and minds of the pastor and congregants in Dodangoda, as well as those in Sri Lanka's other Christian communities. May these believers consistently demonstrate God's love to fellow villagers – including those who oppose them – so that many will readily receive His wonderful gift of salvation. Pray that the issues of concern being experienced in various areas of country will be resolved, and that there will be no further incidents of intimidation or violence.

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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