An attack from a Sri Lankan Mob
On January 14, a pastor serving in the mountainous regions of Uva Province, Sri Lanka, was attacked by a mob.
Pastor Nalaka*, his wife and a young couple from church were attending an event at a believer’s home in the neighboring village, when they found themselves under attack.
“About 200 people surrounded us and one monk from that village was leading them,” Pastor Nalaka said. “The blows came from all around me, I couldn’t even figure out exactly where it hurt.”
The pastor’s wife was hit with an umbrella, and the couple that accompanied them too received blows. But the worst fell on the man who had driven the pastor there. “They surrounded him and beat him up with sticks. He is still in pain,” Pastor Nalaka added. “He is not even a Christian. He is a devout Buddhist and a good friend of mine.”
When the villagers received news that the pastor and his family had been attacked, they considered it something worth celebrating. “The villagers lit fire crackers until nightfall,” The pastor’s wife said. “They are never hostile to our face, but secretly they are all strongly against the church.”
The church where Nalaka pastors in Sri Lanka
According to Pastor Nalaka, the Buddhist extremist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has been pressuring the local temples in the area to oppose the church.
“The monks in this area belong to the extremist group Sinhale. They are being pressured by BBS to get rid of the church. BBS has told them that if they don’t do anything, BBS will come and take care of it themselves.”
In the past, BBS has been responsible for carrying out attacks against churches. Promoting Sinhalese nationalist ideology, the group had stirred up people to oppose Christians and several incidents of physical violence were also reported in 2019. With the re-emergence of this group, Pastor Nalaka, his family and other pastors and church workers serving in rural parts of the country continue to face the threat of more persecution.
Despite the challenges they have had to face, Pastor Nalaka has not given up on his calling. With a well-worn copy of the Sri Lankan Constitution in hand, he continues to challenge authorities and raise awareness about what is happening in his village. Amidst such strong persecution, he has chosen to stand his ground to fulfill his God-given calling to bring more people to a knowledge of their Savior.
- Pray for those who were injured in the attacks, especially the unbeliever who drove Nalaka to the event. Pray for healing and recovery from trauma.
- Pray for the continued protection of believers in this area. As Pastor Nalaka continues his ministry, pray that the work is blessed.
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