Pastor James* knows what it is to face oppression and threats for his Christian faith and witness.
A village pastor in Sri Lanka, James was intimidated and threatened by Buddhist monks in a bid to silence him and curtail his gospel ministry.
“While I was at home with my wife, a group of monks and a few villagers from the area arrived uninvited and told me to stop my church services, as Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country,” he said.
When he reported the incident to the local police, they sided with his accusers! The next day James received an official letter ordering him to stop all Christian meetings.
Fortunately he contacted Release International’s partner in Sri Lanka and they gave him prompt legal advice to support him and help him withstand the intimidation. “I give my thanks to its legal department who guided me and helped me when I was facing these issues,” said James.
Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka continue to pressurise churches to close, especially in the more rural areas, arguing that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country and that to be Sri Lankan is to be Buddhist. Monks continue to lead the threats and intimidation, against Christian congregations, pastors and their families.
* For security reasons name has been changed and photo taken from a photo library.
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