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A church in Sri Lanka burns as persecution against Christians grows.

By December 23, 2004

Sri Lanka (MNN)–Sri Lanka’s President ordered extra security for vulnerable churches during the Christmas season.

However, a church arson four days ago is being blamed on militant Buddhists. Assailants set fire to St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Katuwana,
Homogama, Sri Lanka in the early morning hours of December 19.

Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says it was the second attack this year. “Gas cylinders and rubber tires were used to set a fire to the church, which damaged much of the church, the pews, the organ, the altar, statues within the church were all damaged in this fire.”

While no one was injured in this attack, this is the latest incident in recent months where Christians have been targeted for violence because of their faith.

Hostilities spiked with the introduction of anti-conversion legislation. Believers challenged the bill’s constitutionality in the Supreme Court, which agreed with their legal reasoning.

Nettleton says they are concerned over a second run at an anti-conversion law which imposes stiff penalties for sharing the Gospel. “The way the law makes it sound is that the only way you could possibly do that is if you paid them off or bribed them in some way. We know the church is growing. We know people are coming to Christ and that is why these attacks are happening, because others see how fast the church is growing.”

Please pray for believers in Sri Lanka and those in evangelistic work, that their faith and testimony remains strong.

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