// World Watch List

Sri Lanka

  • Leader: President Maithripala Sirisena
  • Population: 20.9 million (1.9 million Christians)
  • Main Religion: Buddhism
  • Government: Unitary constitutional republic
  • World Watch List Rank: 45
  • Source of Persecution: Religious nationalism

Although Sri Lanka is a secular state, the new Constitution re-emphasises that Buddhism is the state religion and belief in the concept of Buddhist supremacy remains widespread.

Buddhist monks, who are influential in the villages, are the main source of persecution for Christians. Services and prayer meetings have been stopped and church buildings attacked by mobs, often led by Buddhist monks. Pastors are most vulnerable. Pressure is also felt by believers from Buddhist, Muslim or Hindu backgrounds who are seen as traitors and consequently subjected to physical and verbal assaults.

Read more about persecution in Sri Lanka

Please Pray 

  • For protection for those who convert to Christianity. One convert from a Hindu background was killed by her own mother.
  • For legal protection for pastors being bullied by the government or facing charges in the courts
  • For Open Doors workers strengthening victims of violence with medical assistance, livelihood support and help to rebuild homes and churches.


How we help

Open Doors strengthens persecuted believers in Sri Lanka by:

  • Providing Christian literature for graduates of Bible colleges and others
  • Providing assistance through income-generating projects for believers affected by persecution
  • Assisting pastors and churches who have faced violent attacks by supporting the rebuilding of homes and churches
  • Providing medical assistance for victims of violence
  • Preparing believers to deal with persecution through Standing Strong Through the Storm seminars.


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