Thank you so much for standing with your brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka – knowing that believers around the world are praying for them is helping the church to keep going. Please continue to pray for the situation - don’t forget you can download a simple prayer guide to help you and your church.
In the midst of the heartache and grief, there is still courage and hope.
An Open Doors worker attended a service in Sri Lanka on Sunday 28 April, one week after the attacks. They said, "Initially, Sunil* [another Open Doors field worker] mentioned that there wouldn’t be as many attendees as normal. His estimate was that only 10 would attend. But when the service started, there were about 20 to 25, with several new believers too! I was touched by the courageous faith of this small congregation...
"If there is one opportunity that God is showing me while here in Sri Lanka, it’s the opportunity to see for myself His precious, devoted remnant. The bombings, though horrific, have made a distinction between those who shrink back and those that stay on and persevere. It’s also showing me that we’re on the right track in prioritising the strengthening of the Christian family in Sri Lanka."
YOUR SUPPORT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE
What happened in those churches will affect people for the rest of their lives. But your gifts will provide long-term trauma care and counselling, and help families who have lost their main breadwinner to survive. We’ll support approximately 250 families in the affected areas. And this is entirely due to you. Open Doors partners will also host persecution survival training seminars, because, sadly, we cannot assume the threat has gone away.
This is actually the kind of training that Open Doors has offered globally for decades. One of the most shocking, outrageous things about this event is that what happened in Sri Lanka is not unique. Every week, Christians around the world risk their lives by going to church.
£51 could enable local teams in Sri Lanka to provide rapid relief for believers who have been impacted by persecution.
In Nigeria, on Good Friday, at least 11 Christians were killed by gunmen as they returned from a church service in Benue State. Last Sunday, attackers stormed a church in Silgadji in Burkina Faso, just as the morning service was ending. The assailants – most likely Islamic extremists – shot the pastor, his two sons and two more worshippers.
And Burkina Faso is not even in the World Watch List. Think about that: the place where this happened doesn’t even make it into the worst 50 places in the world to be a Christian!
But there is hope. When I see the church in the UK and Ireland acting, praying and giving, I know that these people are not alone. The Open Doors partners who, even now, are gathering Sri Lankan pastors and believers together for support, are simply putting your love and concern into real, tangible form.
Thank you. Please continue to stand with them.
*Name has been changed for security reasons