Elections raise concerns for Christians

By April 5, 2004

Sri Lanka (VOM/MNN)–As Sri Lankans go to the polls on April 2, Christians around the world are encouraged to be in prayer.

Voice of the Martyrs-Canada reports that over the past three weeks leading up to the parliamentary elections, the intensity of attacks against Christians has decreased, though threats have continued.

More than two hundred Buddhist monks are seeking election under the Jathika Hela Urumaya party, with the objective of establishing Sri Lanka as a Buddhist kingdom.
Though the Jathika Hela Urumaya party is not
expected to gain a large number of seats in the parliament, the party may have a decisive role if neither of the two major parties gains a clear majority.

This is the first time that Buddhist monks have entered
the election as candidates. They say they have entered the election because of political corruption and to work against alleged “unethical conversions.”

They are intending to push for anti-conversion
legislation similar to that in several states in India.

Pray that the Sri Lankan government will continue to allow freedom of religion and that the new government will emphasize the equality of all citizens.

Pray that there will be a continued decrease in violence
against Christians and that the threats will abate.

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