Sri Lanka (MNN) — As Sri Lanka is urged to address the demons of its past, indigenous missionaries are fighting demons of a different kind.
Their “weapons” and results aren’t what you might expect, though.
“There’s example after example from these different ministry leaders in different parts of Sri Lanka saying, ‘This is what God is doing,'” reports Amie Cotton of Christian Aid Mission. The group supports six different indigenous ministries in Sri Lanka.
“They have literally had blind men see by the power of the name of Jesus.”
A snapshot for context
In recent days, the United Nations began the long process of bringing justice to Sri Lanka for war crimes committed during its 30-year civil war.
Following a 4-day visit, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein recommended foreign involvement in Sri Lanka’s justice process. The country must “confront the demons of its past,” Hussein told reporters last week at a news conference.
However, Sri Lanka’s leaders appeared to have failed to take his advice. Two days after Hussein’s comments were made, the government appointed ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka to Parliament.
“Fonseka’s appointment signals that the government may protect senior military leaders suspected of widespread abuses,” said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch.
“The government should meaningfully demonstrate to the Sri Lankan people and the UN that it’s serious about accountability and not on the road to a whitewash.”
According to Human Rights Watch, Sri Lankan soldiers committed multiple war crimes–including rape and other sexual violence, the shelling of civilians and hospitals, and the summary execution of prisoners –while under Fonseka’s command.
Meanwhile, as the fight for national justice continues, Sri Lankan Christians are engaging in spiritual warfare.
Sri Lanka’s spiritual scene
Christians are the spiritual minority in Sri Lanka, where 70% of the population follows Buddhism and 13% claim to be Hindus, according to Operation World. The belief in evil spirits and their control over daily life is widespread.“They [Sri Lankans] feel like they have to offer food offerings, monetary offerings, to appease these demons,” explains Cotton. “Then, they have multiple gods [that they’re trying to appease].”
God’s Truth is breaking these strongholds. As described in a recent Christian Aid Mission report,
A ministry leader based in the capital, Colombo, has trained more than 100 indigenous missionaries who have brought healing and salvation to people in southern, central, and western pockets of the nation by invoking the power of Jesus Christ as Lord. One indigenous missionary trained by the director said he and other team members in a small town in Southern Province recently came across a woman in the grip of a malevolent force.
“A lady was possessed by an evil spirit, and she was sick,” the indigenous missionary, an area pastor, said. “God delivered and healed her by His mighty power. Another person was paralyzed and could not speak. We went to their home, shared the Good News, and prayed. God miraculously gave complete, divine healing.”
Cotton adds, “We’re not very comfortable with that in our [North American] culture, but…the Lord is really using healing to make His presence known.”
Here’s what YOU can do about it all
Great numbers of people are coming to Christ, but they need your assistance.
“Pray for their safety. There is a huge war going on in the spiritual realm, and Satan doesn’t want these people accepting Christ,” says Cotton.
“There is a lot of persecution. It’s hard to be a Christian in Sri Lanka.”
The indigenous missionaries helped by Christian Aid Mission are also looking for help with the following:
- Training seminars for new church planters. Help provide for training seminars here.
- Buildings for the churches that indigenous missionaries have planted. Help construct church buildings here.
- Three new workers to join the existing 10-person team that helps the director evangelize, lead open-air meetings and organize cell groups and churches.