Sri Lanka’s proposed anti-conversion bill is hitting the church already

By July 10, 2006

Sri Lanka (MNN) — The on again off again anti-conversion bill in Sri Lanka is on again and this time testimony is being heard before a government committee. This standing committee make up of political leaders are hearing testimony from people for and against the proposed legislation, which would outlaw forced conversions.

Back to the Bible’s Sri Lanka Director James Kanaganayagam says there’s no way to tell who will win this battle, but one thing’s for sure, it’s already impacting believers. “With the ethnic tension increase there has been a shift of focus against the church. Increasingly because of fear and because not wanting to complicate issues, some churches have kept away from proclaiming the Gospel, distributing tracts, doing evangelistic ministry. It’s not a good sign.”

The bill is being proposed because some claim Christians are forcibly converting people to Christianity. Kanaganayagam they’re looking for proof. “We’ve actually tried to find out when and where these types of things have happened, but the evidence has been so small it’s been impossible to verify.”

The tension has affected the work of Back to the Bible in two ways, says Kanaganayagam. “Back to the Bible has been involved in outreach programs — Gospel rallies around the country, in partnership with local churches. With the increase in tensions we find that many churches don’t want open air rallies.”

It’s also hit their radio ministry. “Some radio stations are asking for premium rates to air Back to the Bible programs, because we’re Christian programs. And, that requires additional finances just to fund airtimes.”

One Back to the Bible program costs $900 a month on just one station alone. Pray that God would move in the hearts of His people to give a little extra to help fund Christian broadcasting in this predominately Buddhist nation.

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