(MNN) — Heavy fighting between Sri
Lanka's government and the Tamil Tiger
rebels resumed this week.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched an
assault Wednesday against four key military camps in the coastal Batticaloa
district. Local military officials said about 40 civilians were wounded in
rebel bomb attacks that also hit a relief center.
Some 150,000 civilians have been displaced by recent
fighting. The fighting comes despite a truce in place since February 2002.
It's a disconcerting turn of events, given that whenever
unrest flares, persecution seems to follow.
Open Doors' Carl Moeller agrees. "The church in that area has of
course taken a large brunt of that violence, as well. It is making a difference
for the work of Christians and the work of Christian churches there in that
Most notably, there's been a rash of Christians who have
been disappearing. Churches have been vandalized and permits to build, denied.
Moeller says the violence against Christians in Sri Lanka has had a notable
'chilling effect' on outreach. "Evangelists who are still working
alongside of Open Doors are still going into those areas that are directly
affected. What I think is important for people to realize is that, in the midst
of trouble and persecution, often the hope that people turn to and cling to in
Jesus Christ is the only hope that they can find for a desperate
ranks 30th on the list of the top 50 of the world's worst persecutor of
Christians and evangelical work. Continue to pray for the strength of testimony
for believers in Sri Lanka.