Displaying items by tag: sri lanka

Thursday, 21 October 2021 21:04

Sri Lanka: Indian fish poaching

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.

Published in Worldwide

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.

More: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2019/april/as-warning-emerges-of-new-sri-lanka-church-attacks-global-christian-persecution-still-obscured

Thursday, 25 April 2019 22:14

Sri Lanka: high alert after Easter bombings

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.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 25 October 2018 23:48

Sri Lanka: violence against Christians escalates

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.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 03 August 2018 09:33

Sri Lanka: ‘They took everything from us’

A Sri Lankan brick-maker is living with death threats after his conversion to Christianity, often seen as a ‘foreign’ religion, even though Christianity arrived in the Indian sub-continent almost two thousand years ago. Nimal is illiterate, but attended Bible school. When he talks about his faith, many people mock and challenge him. Rising from poverty to set up a small business, Nimal now shares some of his income with his church. Christian charity Open Doors International recently visited Nimal’s family. To watch the video about him, click the ‘More’ button.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 01 June 2017 23:58

Extreme weather: Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

The worst monsoon since 2003 hit Sri Lanka after two months of drought. 194 people died, and the toll is expected to rise. 99 people are missing, and 112 injured. Over half a million people are affected. Red Cross, police, foreign aid workers, and military are giving first aid, organising search and rescue missions, and distributing food and water. Homes are uninhabitable. Barnabas Fund reported that 200 churches and 5,000 Christian families are affected. However, Christians have not sought shelter in relief camps, fearing persecution, especially those in Buddhist temples. On 30 May Cyclone Mora’s winds of 85 mph lashed Bangladesh forcing the evacuation of 2.5 million people, killing at least six, destroying 20,000 houses and felling hundreds of trees. Meanwhile President Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, according to two senior US officials familiar with his plans - a major reversal of the previous administration's efforts on climate change. See:

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 10 March 2017 10:34

Sri Lanka: freedom of worship

Sri Lanka’s constitution affords Buddhism, which is practised by 70% of the population, ‘the foremost place’. This elevated status is exploited by a powerful ethnic Sinhalese and Buddhist nationalist lobby, which demands rights and privileges for itself at the expense of other religions. The lobby, which is particularly opposed to Christianity, campaigns for the introduction of anti-conversion legislation that would hinder Christian activities. Christians face difficulties in building churches and might be ordered to stop activities; they experience discrimination in education, and many live in desperate poverty. The government plans to introduce legislation prohibiting ‘cults’; this could threaten evangelical churches, which are not recognised by the state. Christianity has a long history on the island, pre-dating the arrival of Westerners by many centuries. Tradition claims that Sri Lanka was first evangelised by the apostle Thomas.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 10 February 2017 10:34

Sri Lanka: Buddhist mob destroys rural church

On 5 January a church in Karuwalagaswewa was attacked and burned by a mob. Threats had previously been made to the church’s pastor, who informed the police. When the police inspector met with the pastor and a local Buddhist monk, he promised to maintain law and order. However, that very night the church was destroyed by a Buddhist mob of over 200. Sri Lanka’s constitution declares that Buddhism, the religion of the island’s ethnic Sinhalese majority, shall have ‘the foremost place’. Christians, who comprise 8% of the population, are commonly harassed and have been victims of violence, with Buddhists claiming that churches need to be registered, even though it is not actually a legal requirement. The church’s congregation have continued to meet, in the open air, despite further threats.

Published in Worldwide