A new president in Sri Lanka bodes more trouble for believers.

By November 18, 2005

Sri Lanka (MNN)–Sri Lankans voted Thursday for a new president. Candidate contention is overlaid with the threat of slaughter by the Tamil Tigers.

Intimidation and roadblocks by Tamil Tiger rebels stopped many voters from reaching polling stations. That may skew the votes toward prime minister, Mahinda Rajapakse, and away from rival Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Voice of the Martyrs-Canada’s Glenn Penner says of the two candidates, the incumbent Prime Minister causes them more concern. “He has made an alliance and the monks of the National Heritage Party. These folks are definitely campaigning to have the anti-conversion legislation go through. If Mr. Rajapakse becomes president, things could become quite tense, I’m afraid.”

Penner says what’s more, there are concerns over the backlash on believers that could be exacerbated by the deep ethnic tensions.

The already existing persecution is likely to increase. “We have received contact from our friends in Sri Lanka, who are fearing post-election violence. Some churches are reporting that unruly elements with extreme Buddhist political leanings have threatened to unleash violence after the election.”

There are already threats against Christians. Penner says, “In particular, one Assemblies of God church in Gampaha district is under threat of actually being attacked.”

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