Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Monday 05 December 2011
Advent Prayer - Sri Lanka
Project(s): 85-673, 85-927
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Sri Lanka
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
|Homeless Christian children in Sri Lanka doing their homework. Barnabas Fund is building new homes for them|
Early on a Sunday morning in June 2011 a pastor and other Christians found their church building in western Sri Lanka smeared with human waste. After they had cleaned up the mess and started the morning service, a 200-strong mob forced their way into the church shouting threats and demanding that the service be stopped. The intruders also beat up one of the assistant leaders. When police arrived, rather than dealing with the aggressors, they asked the pastor to end the service.
Sporadic but intense attacks like these, mainly on churches and Christians in rural areas, are often organised by Buddhist extremists, although Christians may also face pressure from Hindu extremists and Muslim extremists Christians also experience discrimination in taxation, employment and education.
The tsunami of 2004 and recurring droughts followed by floods have reduced many Christians in this South Asian country to desperate poverty and need. Some work in terrible conditions on tea and rubber plantations in the south. The 26-year long civil war, and its bloody conclusion in 2009, also impacted the country’s Christians. Many churches and Christian homes in the north were damaged and destroyed. Barnabas is building homes and churches for the displaced Christians. Each house has an indoor kitchen, toilet and water supply.
Even though the Sri Lankan constitution upholds freedom of religion, it gives Buddhism “the foremost place” and states that it is the “duty of the state to protect and foster Buddhism”. A Sinhalese Buddhist and nationalist lobby demands privileges for itself at the expense of the Christian minority and campaigns for laws to control religious conversion.
Barnabas Fund projects in Sri Lanka include:
- Bible college students support (Ref. 85-673)
- Rebuilding Christian homes and churches (Ref. 85-961 for homes, 85-927 for churches)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Advent 2011” -.