Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a loan to Sri Lanka of nearly $3 billion. In theory, the loan will help alleviate Sri Lanka’s ongoing financial crisis – one of the worst in the nation’s history.
The crisis kicked off in 2020 as Sri Lanka’s substantial tourist industry all but shut down. For the last several years, the growing economic tension has exacerbated other problems, including distrust of political leaders and persecution against Christians.
Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada had a discussion with Yamani Ravindran, a lawyer with the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL).
“Just last year alone, we documented just over 70 incidents. Even this year, we have documented over 18 incidents or a little bit more than that,” Ravindran reports. “Persecution of religious minorities in Sri Lanka is a very real thing.”
Most infamously, bombers attacked churches on Easter Sunday of 2019. According to Ravindran, to this day, state investigations have been disappointing: “Two years forward that we have still not seen justice in the situation. That is something that is concerning for us.”
In fact, violence against believers gives officials an excuse to monitor and control churches under the guise of providing security. This can be doubly intimidating for local Christians who now have to contend with the threat of extremist attacks and pressure from state officials.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for Christians facing pressure from extremist groups.
- Ask God to relieve Sri Lanka’s financial pressures.
- Thank Him for groups that help prepare Christians to weather persecution.