Displaying items by tag: sri lanka
Sri Lanka is in talks with the International Monetary Fund about a bailout package. IMF officials will visit them this month. The country’s economic meltdown triggered protests, and President Rajapaksa fled the country. Now the former president will return. International Media Ministries (IMM) partner with believers and churches in Sri Lanka and are working to help the country and the church to live regular lives in the midst of upheaval. They are developing Gospel media resources to expand the vision of what Christianity is and spread the Gospel using the ‘Open the Gospels’ project. They also want to put the ‘Heritage’ project into languages that are regionally important. IMM are requesting prayer for God to strengthen and encourage the Sri Lankan Christian community. Pray that IMM partners can access daily life essentials like food and clean water. They are saying, ‘God hasn’t left us; we have hope.’
Sri Lanka’s clergy are struggling to survive during the country’s state of emergency. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is providing £390,000 in vital support for priests and churches struggling during the unprecedented economic crisis. It will provide priests with a basic income and subsistence aid for catechists, Sisters and other members of religious orders carrying out essential pastoral work. Bishop Valence Mendis said the local Church is struggling to cover its own costs and finding it difficult to relieve the suffering of everyone turning to them for help. He said, ‘People can afford virtually nothing.’ Bishop Mendia said, ‘The economic situation is very serious. Many are going without medicine and food. People have died in queues while waiting to buy basic goods. Many have lost their jobs, and prices have risen astronomically.’ Inflation soared above 54% last month, food prices are now 80% higher than this time last year.
The prime minister, the president with his family, and his brother the finance minister all fled the country after thousands stormed the president’s residence, demanding their removal for mismanaging the economy and causing Sri Lanka’s financial ruin. The nation hoped these departures would end the family dynasty that has dominated Sri Lanka's politics for two decades. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, speaking from the Maldives, said he would step down by 13 July but his resignation letter did not arrive, causing further clashes between riot police and protesters in which 84 were injured and one killed. A curfew is in place in a bid to ward off any further protests and troops secured the parliament building in armoured personnel carriers. If Mr Rajapaksa resigns as planned, Sri Lankan MPs have agreed to elect a new president on 20 July to serve until 2024. There is concern that if the president does not publicly quit, the people will continue demonstrating and the military will be increasingly involved.
Sri Lanka will soon have 60% inflation. The Prime Minister said the nation is bankrupt and he does not expect a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. He believes he can turn the economy around, but 2023 will be tough with improvements in 2024. People queue for days to get fuel. Sadly a man who had lived in his car for five days queuing for gas died in his car and no one realised it. Things became this bad due to political mismanagement and corruption. As food, fuel, and medicine prices increase, people are escaping by boat to India or Australia. In India, people are kept in refugee camps. Rulers have mismanaged Sri Lanka for 10 to 15 years and borrowed money from China, but up to 30% of it never reached its purpose. People have lost faith in the government and their traditional religions. Meanwhile, Christians meet to pray for economic and spiritual revivals.
We prayed for Sri Lanka in April.l Please continue praying as protesters across the country are torching houses and businesses belonging to various ministers and MPs belonging to the ruling Rajapaksa family. During this week’s violence and looting PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned, and a luxury holiday resort owned by his son was torched by a mob. Over 200 people were injured and eight murdered in three days. The protesters want President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda’s brother, to leave office. He has grossly mismanaged the economy, and they insist he must stand aside. In his first national address since protests began last month, he offered to cede some of the president's power to parliament but ignored calls to resign. Security forces are shooting law-breakers and looters on sight, and thousands of police and riot squads are patrolling the streets with tear gas and water cannons.
Anger over the worst economic crisis in decades drives unrest as hundreds of people defied a curfew and rallied in Sri Lanka’s cities and towns demanding the president steps down. They believe their economic crisis has resulted from the incompetency and impulsiveness of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brothers (prime minister and finance minister) making seriously foolish decisions. The entire Cabinet resigned on 3rd April to try and appease protestors, but protesters won’t stop until the president resigns. Police are arresting hundreds for defying the curfew. India announced $1 billion credit to Sri Lanka to help shore up the sinking economy and keep food and fuel costs down. Sri Lankan doctors intend protesting as hospitals run out of essential drugs. Meanwhile, a Christian worker said, I’ve never seen people in Sri Lanka praying as much as they are now. Around the clock, pastors and church leaders are gathering. There are many prophetic utterances that a big revival is taking place.’
On 17 October Sri Lankan fishermen launched a flotilla of boats from the northeastern fishing town of Mullaittivu to Sri Lanka’s northernmost tip, Point Pedro away. They are demanding that the government does more to protect the nation's prawn-rich northern waters from poaching by Indian fishing trawlers in the narrow Palk Strait which separates the South Asian neighbours. Bottom trawling was banned from Sri Lankan waters in 2017 because it involves dragging heavy nets across the seafloor to catch a large volume of fish, causing severe damage to the marine ecosystem. However, the authorities have failed to stop Indian poaching even though their fishing community has been complaining for years. Mass poaching takes valuable fish stocks away from Sri Lankan fishermen, so they struggle to make ends meet. Palk Strait is a rich fishing ground known for jumbo prawns. Sri Lanka regularly detains large numbers of Indian fishers and seizes their boats, but poaching continues.
Sri Lankan Christians fear more attacks are coming as the nation is still in mourning over the horrific bombings on Easter Sunday.
At least 253 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded. Thursday the number was decreased from 350 to 253, officials explaining that they initially thought many people had been killed due to unidentifiable body parts.
In two major cities in Sri Lanka it's very quiet as residents and office workers are staying indoors and shops are closed. There's concern that more attacks are on the way with the US embassy warning that terrorists could target places of worship again this weekend.
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe issued a stark warning Thursday saying, "Well, they've rounded up a lot of suspects but there are still some of the active people on the run. They may be having explosives with them, or they may have hidden the explosives so we have to find the suspects as well as the explosives. So that's still on."
Meanwhile, the military is actively seeking some 140 people suspected of having links to the Islamic State.
Last Sunday's bombings were one of the world's worst terrorist attacks since 9/11, but there's still a sense that Americans don't grasp that Christians around the world are so targeted. In fact, the New York Times ran an opinion piece this week asking "Are Christians Privileged or Persecuted?"
Doug Bandow, an analyst at the CATO Institute answers that question writing, "Christianity's dominant role in American culture has obscured the fact that it is the most persecuted faith globally."
And Emma Green, an Atlantic writer, says that Easter has become an "anniversary of death, "noting Easter attacks on Christians in Egypt and Nigeria in the last several years.
Religious freedom advocate Dr. Daniel Mark tells CBN New the attacks show how believers in the West need to be more aware of global persecution of Christians.
"I think Christians should -- Christians who of course are extremely charitable and extremely caring to people worldwide -- could even so take a lesson in this and make sure that on the top of their mind at all times is the persecuted church around the world which makes us appreciate what we have here, too, and makes us more mindful of what we need to protect what we have here."
Please take time to intercede for Sri Lanka using these guidelines supplied by Leslie Keegel, one of our senior leaders, who lives in the country:
- The death toll as of now is at 253 persons and people on the injured list is at 359. Attacks and attempts of attack are still in the air.
- Please pray for the public, fear, anxiety and hopelessness is high.
- For the government and rulers to be united and intentionally decisive to overcome enemy factions.
- It is discovered that ISIS is behind these attacks. They are looking for more opportunities to strike churches and Christians.
- Shops, offices, schools are closed, people who are dependent on daily wages are not finding work. Therefore, starvation and frustration is creeping in.
- Public demonstrations against the government are threatened.
- It is learnt that our decision makers do not see eye to eye with each other, therefore important decisions are not being made.
- There is leadership failure therefore there is economic, social and political instability in our nation.
- The forces of darkness in high places are raging against the Church and her leadership.
- The Church must receive strength and comfort to battle against the powers of darkness.
- Please pray that the support lines would be cut and resources would stop flowing to the ISIS leadership here.
- Pray for the Church to be United in Tragedy: The Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches stand together in solidarity with the Catholic Church during this time of tragedy and share their pain and sorrow as the whole Body of Christ is suffering.
- Pray that this unity will be a witness to the nation.
- Pray that the funeral services will be a powerful witness of forgiveness and reconciliation and also of the living Hope to other religious communities.
- Pray for the opportunity for the Church to reach out to the Moslem community as well.
- Pray for the Grieving Families: Sri Lanka had been through 30 year of war and seen immense suffering and bloodshed and also natural tragedies like the Tsunami. The Church has been both victims and instruments of God’s grace to bring relief and comfort to the suffering. We are working together to help with families with the funerals and provide ongoing emotional and other support.
- Pray for Christians to have courage and hope: This attack specifically targeting Christians and have resulted in the largest number of martyrs of the recent history. The Sri Lankan Church wants to honor their sacrifice and want the families to know that they have not died in vain.
- The Church must be strong in opposition and suffering because we believe that Sri Lanka is destined for Revival.
Thank you very much for your partnership in prayer.
Easter bombings in three churches and seven hotels have killed 253, with the death toll expected to rise further because 500 are seriously injured. Over sixty suspects have been arrested so far. Domestic and international authorities are probing deeper into the bombings, with a nationwide alert for nine vehicles involved, possibly holding explosives. The situation remains tense. Security has been increased, with naval and air force officers patrolling the streets. Roadblocks have been set up throughout Colombo, and suspicious vehicles and individuals are being searched. All Catholic churches in Sri Lanka must stay closed until security improves. A picture is emerging of nine well-educated, home-grown suicide bombers, including a woman, who carried out the attacks. IS claimed responsibility, but authorities blamed local extremists NTJ, whose leader is known for incendiary speeches online. Sri Lanka's security ‘weaknesses’ led to the failure to prevent the bombings. Ask God to protect potential targets - tourist spots, markets, hotels, government offices, churches, and shopping malls.
Attacks against Christians in Sri Lanka have escalated this year, with Hindu extremism beginning to take root along with long-time Buddhist aggression, according to rights advocates. An attorney who requested anonymity said, ‘We are witnessing communities being mobilised in an increasing manner against Christians. We see the Hindu extremists influencing entire communities; then the communities lead violent mob attacks against Christian places of worship and Christians.’ Among recent cases, a large mob in Southern Province gathered to protest against a church in their community. This became a violent attack, and then discrimination against the Christians and harassment of the women. When a Buddhist monk joined them it further aggravated matters and the crowd became uncontrolled, not allowing the pastor or anyone else to leave. They assaulted a Christian who tried to leave. Later 500 people, including Buddhist monks, staged a protest against the pastor and church worship.