Sri Lankan church bloodied by mob attacks

By August 1, 2011

Sri Lanka (MNN) — Home destruction and violent beatings have Sri Lankan Christians on edge. According to Voice of the Martyrs, Canada, several attacks on Christians throughout Sri Lanka have taken place these last few weeks in an escalation of persecution.

A pastor was brutally attacked and beaten in the Ampara District on Sri Lanka's eastern coast after attending a meeting about land distribution. A Buddhist monk called the pastor and several others to the meeting on July 10.

During the meeting, the Christian pastor was brutalized by the monk and others there. The monk kicked the pastor repeatedly in his stomach and arms, causing serious injuries.

Then while the pastor was escaping to his home, his attackers followed him and verbally abused him and his family members.

Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country with 70% of the population following that religion. The Christian minority has experienced an increase in persecution since 2005, especially at the hands of militant Buddhists.

Another serious persecution case occurred in the Badulla District in southeastern Sri Lanka on July 19. That evening, a large mob of approximately 50 people assaulted five Christian families in their homes.

The mob hurled stones at their roofs and smashed windows using clubs and rocks. The terrified families fled into the jungles for protection from the angry mob.

Additionally, a grocery store owned by one of the Christians was destroyed and vandalized. The store owner was seriously injured in the attack.

There are reports of talk to force these families either to deny their faith or to leave the village.

Please pray for healing and strength for the persecuted Christians.

Ephesians 6:18-20 encourages us to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

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