Civil war feared again in Sri Lanka, Christian radio continues

By May 10, 2006

Sri Lanka (MNN) — A ceasefire agreement is hanging in the balance in Sri Lanka as rebels and government leaders continue bickering. Antagonism between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels reached fever pitch last month amid a surge of suspected Tiger attacks, a suicide bombing, ethnic riots, and unsolved killings of civilians that left more than 200 people dead in the past month. Both sides blame each other for the violence.

This unrest is having an effect on outreach in the northeastern part of the country, says Back to the Bible’s country director James Kanaganayagam. “It’s affects us in that we are unable to work in these areas in person. We’ve had programs in these places, gone into these places. Now, it’s difficult actually getting in and out of these places.”

According to Kanaganayagam, fear is a huge factor in this. “People who used to travel out, or going around preaching and witnessing, are now restricting themselves because of the difficulties they’re facing.”

While it’s hurt work on the ground, Kanaganayagam says, “In the midst of this we’re still able to broadcast our programs and we’re thankful for that.” Back to the Bible broadcasts 13 Sanhala and 14 Tamil programs each week and will soon be making programs available in Malay.

This time of uncertainty is allowing Christians to talk about Christ as the Prince of Peace. However, that’s message can’t be proclaimed if someone is afraid.

The good news is that anti-conversion legislation has been side-tracked as the talk of civil war has increased. Kanaganayagam says attacks on churches are now only isolated incidents. He’s praying it remains that way.

In the mean time, Back to the Bible needs your help to keep Christian radio on the air in the region. Kanaganayagam says, “Raising funds for air time is probably the biggest challenge we have because that’s our biggest component. And, you can pray that the Lord will provide specifically for that and for the needs of the staff as well because we have 40 people working here at Back to the Bible. Many are working at great sacrifices.”

You can help with these costs by clicking on the link below.

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