On 6 March, a large mob forced their way into the Mercy Gate Chapel in Amalgama, Sri Lanka, demanding that all religious activities cease immediately.
Thankfully, police were able to disperse the crowd without further incident, though Buddhist monks continued to declare that the place of worship was not a legitimate church.
A few days later, the pastor of the church received a letter from state officials demanding that he stop all worship services or face arrest. The letter, which was received on 11 March, stated that the church was an illegal institution and considered disruptive to “religious harmony” in the area. The letter further demanded that the pastor, along with three other church members, attend a meeting on 15 March.
On the date of the meeting, approximately 20 Buddhist monks and governing officials had gathered to repeat the demands of the letter to the church representatives. In response, the pastor requested that a written report outlining the objections to the church be provided, along with references to any relevant legal regulations. The officials agreed to provide this documentation but, at last report, it has not yet been received by the pastor.
On 24 March, while the pastor was visiting his sister’s house, several police officers arrived at the premises and began questioning what he was doing. After informing them that he was simply visiting his sister to pray for his nephew, the police left. Later that night, as he was returning home, he saw two police officers stationed near the church building. When he spoke with them, the officers claimed they were providing security to the church.
The pastor has stated that his movements are being closely monitored by neighbours and local monks. The investigative action taken at his sister’s home was the result of a monk reporting his movements to the police.
Sources: National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka, The Voice of the Martyrs Canada
Let us pray.
- Prayerfully uphold this pastor, his family and the members of Mercy Gate Chapel, asking God to provide them with wisdom and protection.
- May He also give these believers Holy Spirit-empowered boldness and compassion as they deal with their opposing neighbours and other community members who are greatly in need of Christ.
- Pray that governing officials will act fairly towards believers throughout the country.