Pastor abducted in Sri Lanka

By March 14, 2007

Sri Lanka (MNN) — There's mounting concern about the
increasing number of Christians disappearing in Sri Lanka.  Pastor Victor Emmanuel Yogarajan, who runs the Gospel Missionary Church
in Vavuniya  300km from Colombo, was in
the capital March 1 with his two sons and a friend when it's believed they were
abducted.

Godfrey Yogarajah is with the World Evangelical Alliance in
Sri Lanka. "We have had abductions, assassinations, (and) people being
kidnapped. There have been a lot of human rights violations in the last one
year in Sri Lanka."

Yogarajah says this isn't the first time something like this
has happened. "In the last two years almost 250 churches have been
attacked, Christian workers beaten up, churches being closed. It's very
difficult to get building permits to build any new churches."

The disappearance of the four believers has all but been
ignored. Yogarajah says, "In none of the abductions have the government
authorities been helpful at all. There is a civil monitoring commission which
has, today, met with the German ambassador, trying to bring pressure on the
government."  But, that hasn't
happened.

According to Yogarajah, this is pushing many believers out
of the country. "Already there are about 25,000 refugees who have gone by
boat to India to Tamil Nadu. There are many other who have gone to the
West."

Yogarajah is appealing to you to contact you government
representatives to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to find out where
these people are being held and secure their release.

Unfortunately, the government is hiding the truth. "The
Sri Lankan government's only defense is, we're doing this for national security
to curb terrorism. And, when that is said many of the western governments take
a back seat."

Despite the problems facing Christians and other minorities,
Yogarajah says the people are ready for the Gospel. "People are actually
very open and actually thirsting for the truth in a country where the truth is
being compromised. There is so much despair and so much hopeless and, that's
where our faith offers hope."

Pray that Sri Lankan believers will be bold in sharing their faith and that
many will turn to Christ. Pray also that God will protect believers as they
travel.

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