Anti conversion laws in Sri Lanka are closer to reality.

By January 30, 2004

Sri Lanka (MNN)–Demand for an anti-conversion law in Sri Lanka is gaining momentum.

Article 9 of the Sri Lankan Constitution gives preference to Buddhism over other religions, holding the State responsible for its protection. Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says,
“Two groups, one a Buddhist group, and one a Hindu group are now pushing the government to have an anti-conversion law before Parliament by the end of February.”

New details show these groups are watching 37 agencies that have ties with Christian denominations said to be promoting evangelism in Sri Lanka.

The resurgence of the demand for anti-conversion laws followed last month’s mysterious death of one of Sri Lanka’s most widely respected Buddhist monks. His death whipped up anti-Christian sentiments, resulting in a slew of attacks on Christian churches and prayer centers by unidentified groups.

The latest such attack occured on the night of January 26 in the town of Mattegoda, about 12 kilometers from Colombo.

What happens next could have a serious impact on ministry in the country. While the law may not specifically target believers in writing, Nettleton says, “The reality is Christians are the ones who are doing evangelism, Christians are the ones who are ministering to the poor, reaching out to them, sharing the Gospel, and so that’s who is effected by this legislation, even though this legislation doesn’t specifically say ‘No Christians’.”

Pray for those in Parliament as they make decisions regarding the legislation. Pray too, for the safety of those involved in ministry in Sri Lanka.

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