|Sources of Persecution||Religious Nationalism|
|Leader||President Maithripala Sirisena|
Even after the civil war ended in 2009, Christians and Muslims continue to be persecuted by Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka. Hundreds of Christian families are still displaced and struggling to survive.
Some young Buddhist leaders have been using social media to promote hatred towards religious minorities. Christians are portrayed negatively in the media, and false news stories lead to violent attacks against believers. Those who persecute Christians are often left unpunished.
New Christians come from Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist backgrounds. Their faith in Jesus is seen as a betrayal to their family and community. New believers are often harassed, discriminated and face violent persecution. Many Protestant or independent churches have been asked to shut down.
“During the time I was being persecuted, I was depressed. I was really down. But Jesus gave me the assurance that He will be with me through this time. As Jesus was with me, He will continue to be with you, those who suffer too.” – Nalaka*, pastor from Sri Lanka.
Nalaka came to faith in Jesus after living for years as a drug addict. He started facing persecution from his village and local Buddhist monks for following Jesus. They threatened to attack him. Nalaka is now a pastor and has been strengthened through persecution.
Open Doors works to provide Christians in Sri Lanka with emergency relief for victims of violent persecution. We also run income generating projects for those struggling to find work and prepare the church for future persecution.
“Please pray for our family. The strength within our family is vital to our ministry.” – Pastor Nalaka.
Pray for reconciliation between different religious and ethnic groups in Sri Lanka.
Pray for the church in Sri Lanka to be bold in their faith and share the gospel even with their persecutors.