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SRI LANKA: Christians Under Pressure from Extremists

The church in Sri Lanka is facing mounting violence and discrimination — as extremism extends its influence. Buddhist hardliners and Hindu extremists with links to India are gaining influence.

Large mobs, even entire communities, are being mobilised against the church. One example involves the Assemblies of God (AOG) church in Beliatta, southern Sri Lanka.

A mob of about 100 people from various villages attacked the church building, demanding an end to worship services and threatening to kill the pastor and his family.

Police had to call for back-up to be able to escort the pastor to the safety of the police station. Later that night, the pastor’s home was pelted with stones.

Three days later, about 500 people, including Buddhist monks, staged a protest against the church, demanding the pastor leave the village. The pastor and his family were put under police protection.

Partners of Release International say that Hindu extremist groups that have taken root in India, including the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), are extending their reach into Sri Lanka, especially in eastern areas. They are reported to have been holding meetings with Hindu villagers to promote religious hatred towards Christians and incite violence.

Sources: Release International, Morning Star News

  • Ask God to protect the pastor and family and reassure them of His faithfulness.
  • Pray that God will strengthen His people and uphold them with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
  • Pray that those who are spreading intolerance and extremism will be moved by the witness of Sri Lankan Christians and touched by God’s unconditional love.
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