Christians bear brunt of violence in Sri Lanka

By July 11, 2008

Sri Lanka (MNN)– Voice of the
Martyrs' Canada
reports more violence against Christians in Sri Lanka. 

The faithfulness of believers in
the face of opposition is evident in that there has been a significant growth
of evangelical Christianity since 1980.  

Local monks, threatened by the
loss of power and the growth of the church, have been stirring up increased opposition
with militant Buddhists. Many churches
have been burned, and Christians have been beaten and stabbed.

Regular attacks come against
those who are in Christian work. The
National Christian Evangelical Alliance reported on two recent situations.  

In Middeniya, several militants
opposed to an Assemblies of God church pastor's outreach began threatening him. Then, on July 3, someone
burned his house down. The family managed to put out the blaze before it
caused extensive damage, and no one was injured.

Three days later, a mob attacked Calvary Church in Colombo after false rumors about Christians
attacking a temple spread. According to Voice of the Martyrs, five Buddhist
monks charged into the church building during a worship service and demanded
that the service cease.

The monks told the pastor that
there was no need for Christians in the village and threatened to destroy all
local churches. Fearing violence, the
pastor sent his congregation away. The mob then attacked the building, and beat
the pastor and at least five others with clubs and rods. They did survive, but
with serious injuries.

While the Constitution supposedly
guards freedom of religion, many Christian activities are seen to violate the law.
Amendments to existing laws and the
introduction of a new anti-conversion law would only serve to further hinder
religious freedoms within Sri Lanka.

Pray that the faithfulness of
Christians in Sri Lanka will be a light that draws others to Christ.



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