Churches attacked in Sri Lanka

By November 22, 2006

Sri Lanka (MNN) — As the international community talks about how to secure peace in Sri Lanka, violence is increasing.

Speaking from Sri Lanka, Back to the Bible Country Director James Kanaganayagam says the situation in the country is deteriorating. “On one hand the political situation seems to be still uncertain. The talks between the government and the rebels are not working out. There’s a food shortage in the north with a main road being closed.”

The situation is getting worse for the church, too. Kanaganayagam says a few churches were attacked just outside Colombo. “There have been mobs of between 30 and 100 people in different areas that have gone in and opposed churches from meeting on Sunday mornings,” says Kanaganayagam. He adds, “They have verbally abused them and threatened them. In one case they came back after the church service was finished and they broke the building down.”

Kanaganayagam thinks he knows why this is happening. “One reason I think people are angry with the church is because the church is moving, the church is growing, the church is actively involved in social action as well as preaching the Gospel and in worshiping.”

While the situation is bad, the oppression isn’t as bad as it was a few years ago when it was widespread across the county.

The unrest is causing them to change the way Back to the Bible’s mobile ministry is working. “We actually don’t go to as many place as we did in the past, but even if we go to places, we have programs inside church buildings or in closed halls and not in open air meetings like we did in the past, because we don’t want to make things difficult for the churches in the area.”

However, many people are turning to Christ and new leaders are needed. Back to the Bible is trying to train new leaders and scholarships are needed. Kanaganayagam says, “Many of the Bible college students we support come from non-Christian backgrounds. Their families cannot actually support them through seminary.”

It costs just $600 to sponsor a student for an entire year of their four year training. Click here to sponsor a Bible college student today.

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