Sri Lanka (MNN) — In early March, a group of 600 people broke into a Sri Lankan church, Mercy Gate Chapel. They threatened the pastor with death if the worship service did not stop. Police arrived and managed to calm the crowd, but 60 Buddhist monks insisted the church was illegitimate.
Rajeeve Sathianathan with Christian World Outreach explains the religious situation. “In the southern part of Sri Lanka, the majority of the Sinhalese ethnic group are Buddhist. And in the northern part, most people are Hindus. In Sri Lanka, there are close to 40,000 villages. Most of the religious persecution takes place more in the villages.”
CWO ministry in Sri Lanka
CWO has begun talking to pastors in southern Sri Lanka, looking to begin ministry there. In fact, one pastor they spoke to was mentored by the pastor of Mercy Gate Chapel.
Right now, CWO works in the northern part of the country.
They started in 2021 by adopting one of the villages. The people there are considered by Sri Lankan culture to be a lower caste. Sathianathan says, “What we are doing is we are doing building relationships with them. And the way we are building relationships is by meeting their needs first. We are doing charity work and taking care of elderly women who don’t have any help from anybody else.
“Also, we are helping young kids with school. We use the opportunity to build relationships with their families. We are living out the Gospel.”
CWO can’t just walk into the village and start publicly declaring Jesus. But once they build relationships, they can say in Whose name they are bringing aid.
Pray the people of this village would find hope in the love of Jesus. And pray CWO would have a chance to work with many more Sri Lankan villages, including those in southern parts of the country.
The header image shows a Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. (Photo courtesy of viduransi on Pixabay)