A government shakeup triggers persecution in Sri Lanka.

By November 17, 2003

Sri Lanka (MNN)–Sri Lanka’s feuding leaders met with little progress in their political impasse this week. Although the state of emergency has been lifted following a government shakeup, the peace process with the rebels has been seriously damaged.

The instability prompted bloody protest, creating a wave of displaced people. It also had another unexpected effect. IN-Network’s Rody Rodeheaver. “When the government becomes kind of focused on itself, and there’s a lot of in-fighting, which is going on right now, what happens is then these groups see this as an opportunity because the government is preoccupied with their own stuff, so they begin to accelerate their aggressive and anti-Christian behavior.”

The reports of attacks on believers by Buddhist militants have spiked over the last two weeks. Rodeheaver says they’ve felt the impact. “There is less freedom to just go out and do evangelism. It makes us a little more tentative, we have to be a little more careful on how we approach some things.”

Another concern revolves around their orphan and eduation programs in Sri Lanka. The agency has worked with the government on training programs, says Rodeheaver, “what we’re very concerned about is not having those programs be effective, and then in turn, affect our ability to function.”

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