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The Fight Against Forced Religious Conversion

By Camelia Nathaniel

Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero and Rev Fr. Benedict Joseph are in the picture

While religions and other beliefs have brought hope and consolation to the lives of billions of people, it has also held great potential for peace and reconciliation. However not only in present times but in the past too it has also been a source of tension and conflict leading to innumerable tragic conflicts.

The United Nations recognized the importance of freedom of religion or belief in Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

However some Buddhists in Sri Lanka feel that other religions, especially Christians and Muslims are encroaching on their territory and forcibly converting Buddhists through bribery.

They feel that Buddhism lacks influence and clout in the international arena to the extent that Christianity and Islam enjoy, and that Buddhists do not have the equivalent of a World Council of Churches to raise issues concerning Buddhists internationally to create world public ppinion.

Article 9 of the Sri Lankan Constitution states that State is duty bound to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana while assuring all religions the rights granted under Articles 10 and 14 (1) (e) of the Constitution, which entails them the freedom to have and adopt a religion or belief of one’s choice and the freedom to individually or collectively manifest one’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. There is no dispute that these Articles embody the freedom and right to propagate one’s religion freely.  This right to propagate ones religion is granted to persons of all religions including Buddhists.

While the State has no obligation to provide patronage to other religions or beliefs, it is precluded from prohibiting worship, observance, practice and teaching of other religions and beliefs, and its propagation.

Disputes arise when Buddhism is threatened

Expressing his views to The Sunday Leader Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera said that everyone has the right to practice whatever religion one chooses. “No one else can obstruct that, and if anyone tries to prevent another person from practicing his or her religion freely then I believe that to be an inhumane deed that is not appropriate for humans. However if certain parties are trying to convert people from another religion by offering them gifts and other benefits, then that too is an appalling act.

In this world many of the wars have erupted due to religious disputes and likewise the most number of killings have also taken place due to these religious wars. Hence, if certain religions are instrumental in creating such disharmony and disputes that lead to these wars, then it is my belief that humans can very well do without these religions.

In Sri Lanka too in the recent past there have been numerous instances where certain religious factions have very deviously gone to villages and converted Buddhists into their faith. In such instances it is only natural that the Buddhists get agitated and retaliate in numerous forms. However I am not condoning the behaviour of certain Buddhist groups who have taken the law into their own hands; yet as they say that every action has a reaction, it is only natural for the Buddhists to react when their faith is at stake. Hence either the government should intervene and stop these conversions as they are bound to according to the Constitution to protect Buddhism. Therefore it is the duty of the government to intervene if Buddhism is threatened in any way. If not there could be greater disputes that could have disastrous repercussions if this trend continues and the government and law enforcement stay silent,” he added.

When asked what could be done to prevent such a situation from arising in the country the Ven. Thera said that although the proposal was brought to parliament regarding the conversion of Buddhists, it was not passed. “If this situation is not tackled properly and in time, it could lead to greater disputes, that will threaten the peace in the country,” warned the Thero.

The Thero further stated that it was not the traditional Roman Catholic Church that was a threat to Buddhism, but the more recent Christian denominations. “Even the Cardinal is against such conversions and this is being done through foreign funds. Buddhists and Catholics, Hindus and Muslims have all lived in harmony all this time and if these unethical conversions are not curtailed, this unity that we have all enjoyed could come under threat,” he said.

Forced conversions unethical

Meanwhile the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and religious affairs M.K.B. Dissanayake told The Sunday Leader that prior to this too a Bill regarding these conversions was put forward in parliament, but it was not approved. “If anyone is forcibly converted to any religion then one has to take action according to the normal criminal law, but there is no law in place to prevent such conversions. However regarding the action taken by certain Buddhist groups where they have taken the law into their own hands, we cannot endorse such actions. Of course we are against unethical conversions where a person’s plight is exploited. These Buddhist groups too could be extremist groups, who might be acting according to a certain agenda,” he noted.

Catholic Church not happy with
conversions

Meanwhile even the Catholic Church has concerns regarding the conversion of their followers and accuse the numerous Christian factions of have become a burden on the Church. Speaking to The Sunday Leader Fr. Benedict Joseph, Director Catholic Communication said, “Religion is not something competitive and anyone has the right to embrace any faith according to one’s conscience. But that does not mean that one can enforce one’s beliefs on another person and have one’s interests realised.

Currently what we see in these conversions is that they try to upset the beliefs of the people who have been traditionally upholding the teachings of the Church, belittling the dignity and stature and teachings of the Catholic Church.  Without any valid reason they stand up to be the people who preach the truth and uphold the gospel and this they do in a very subtle way.

They attack the clergy and the Church and the traditions of the Catholic Church and also try to interfere with the freedom of persons.
The actions of these factions have created a sense of animosity between the other religions in the country. Moreover wherever these groups are located there have been numerous skirmishes and other disputes between the other religions. Because of the actions of these Christian factions even the Catholic Church gets blamed, but we are totally against these religious conversions, by force or offering various rewards and gifts”.
However Fr. Benedict Joseph added that the Catholic Church was against any party taking the law into their own hands as it could lead to a breakdown of law and order.

Law and order cannot be destabilised by a few

However the police feel that while disapproving of unethical or forced conversions, it is also not the place of other religious groups to take the law into their own hands and resolve issues beyond their mandate. The police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana speaking to The Sunday Leader said that the law of the country does not prevent any religion or religious organisation from conducting their prayer services or converting those who are willing to be converted. “It is the right of every individual to practice or convert to any religion. However even though it is unethical for any religious faction to recruit people by bribing them or brainwashing them, we cannot take legal action against such conversions unless a complaint is made regarding such unethical conversions. However the fact remains that unless the laws are changed in order to deal with such incidents, no one has the right to take the law into their own hands and destabilise the law and order of this country,” he said.

 

Since laws are inadequate, Buddhists take charge

Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero

Meanwhile the General Secretary of the main Buddhist organisation that has been in the forefront campaigning against these conversions, the Bodu Bala Sena, Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero speaking to The Sunday Leader said that these conversions have led to a breakdown of law and order in the country, due to the fact that there are no laws that prevent such conversions. “In these instances even the police are helpless as all they can do is to uphold the law of the country; but in these instances there are no laws set in place to prevent the Buddhists of this country from being converted. People have a right to follow any religion and no one can dispute that. However the issue is that these so called Evangelical factions are conducting themselves in a manner where it has created great disharmony between the various religions in this country which have lived peacefully for centuries. There is a difference in embracing any religion according to one’s conscience and converting people by manipulating their freedom of thought.

The police cannot intervene and resolve this issue and they are rendered helpless in this instance. The fact is there are no laws that prevent such unethical conversions. Hence these officials must review the existing laws and if these laws are found to be inactive or unable to prevent friction between certain religious or ethnical factions then it is their duty to revise these laws or even bring in new laws in order to uphold law and order in the country and prevent such tensions from arising.

Hence we cannot accuse the police of being unable to uphold the law. The police are powerless and their hands are tied as they do not have the required laws to intervene, which provokes other factions to take the law into their own hands in such instances in order to protect their rights. The Buddha Sasana Ministry is deep in slumber, while the country is facing numerous threats from these Evangelical factions.
The Thera added, “However, I must admit that it is a wrong example that is being set, but we are forced to take up such issues for the benefit of the people and to also prevent further tensions from arising. We also try to highlight the issues affecting the people to the authorities”.

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Conversions result from experiencing the Living God

The Sunday Leader also visited the Assemblies of God (AOG) prayer centre in Ja-Ela and spoke with the Senior Pastor Vernon Perera regarding the accusations that are levelled against them in view of the conversions that have taken place. He said that if Christians are accused of forced conversions, then there must be evidence to substantiate that accusation.

“Most people feel that there must be something that attracts people to Christianity, and they simply assume that it is something materialistic. Well in that case if we are offering people money to join our faith, then it would have to be the very poor people. But the fact is that it is not just the people of the lower echelons of society that join our faith, but even the more affluent.

The people of this country are not ignorant and uneducated. We boast of the high literacy level in our country, yet in instances such as these, we think that the people are so gullible and easily hoodwinked. Moreover if we are offering people financial benefits to join our faith, then for how long can we sustain this? The fact is that we have a whole cross section of society that has joined our faith, and this is not out of any forced conversion, but because they have experienced the Living God through our faith and through the Bible families have discovered the bond between them and God,” he explained.

Pastor Vernon said that there is no need for funding for the Church from any other country. “In all my years as a Pastor I have seen the tithing increase year after year and in no way decrease. Our Christian faith teaches us to always give and share and go that extra mile for someone with no ulterior motive,” he said.

The Pastor also assured anyone who has any concern regarding the conversions to come forward and ask to speak to those who have been converted to find out the truth first hand, instead of attacking the Christians with vengeance and making baseless allegations. “We as Christians have fallen into the minority group even though we too are Sinhalese, only because we are Christians and not Buddhists. No one listens or cares about our tribulations and even when we are attacked not even the law protects us.

Dozens of our Christian churches have been attacked and damaged while we have been attacked as well. Therefore we just have to lick our wounds and pay for our own damages and move on. We have attempted to raise this issue in many public forums with no success,” lamented Pastor Vernon.

However Pastor Vernon also admitted that sometimes it could be a hindrance or disturbance to the community when prayer services or healing services are held in villages or residential areas, due to the use of loud speakers and musical instruments.
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Attacks on Christians
An incident report compiled by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka, counts 35 incidents comprising threats to the freedom of religion and attacks on Christian places of worship, clergy and congregation.
Incident Report for the period January to September 2013

• Attempted arson attack on Pastor’s house in Hambantota on September 2, 2013
• Due to threat of attack against Praise Prayer Lanka Church in Ratmalana, Church cancelled Sunday Service on September 7, 2013
• Prayer gathering in Meegoda attacked by mob led by Buddhist Monk on September 8, 2013
• Pastor of New Life Church in Neluwaththuduwa in Hanwella and his family assaulted by mob and Buddhist Monk on June 23, 2013
• The Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Bulathkohupitiya in the Kegalle district received a letter dated March 8, 2013 on March 16 from the Divisional Secretary stating that a committee appointed to look into unauthorized religious places had decided to close down such places of religious activity with immediate effect.
• Police informed the Pastor of the Emmanuel Prayer Centre in Yakkala in the Gampaha district on March 1, 2013 that the renovation of his residence required the permission of the Religious Affairs Ministry?
• A Prayer Meeting which was in progress at the Christian Prayer Centre in Ingiriya, situated in the Kalutara district on February 17, 2013 was declared illegal by Police & Divisional Secretariat
• At a meeting on “Religious Harmony”, convened by the District Secretary Hambantota, on May 10, 2013 an indirect ultimatum was given to the pastors at the meeting to show proof of the ‘legality’ of their ministries or they will be closed down – either legally or by the ‘law of the jungle’ (kelaa neethiyen).
• Sunday worship at the Harvest Church in Suriyawewa in the Hambantota district disrupted by mob and Pastor informed that no Church can exist in Hambantota.
• St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church vandalised in Angulana in Moratuwa on June 5, 2013 and attempts had been made to burn the Blessed Sacrament by pouring petrol over it.
• Anti-Christian poster vampaign and threat to attack Pastor of King’s Revival Church situated in Ingiriya in the Kaluthara district on June 7, 2013
• Anti-Christian meeting and threats against Pastors in Kegalle on June 15, 2013
• Mob attack on Methodist Church of Sri Lanka in Batticaloa on June 16, 2013 demanding its closure
• False allegations against a Pastor of the Assemblies of God church in Hambantota
• Family of the Pastor of the Jeevana Alokaya Church in Weeraketiya, in the Hambanthota district attacked on March 18, 2013
• Pastor of the Believers Church in Aralanganwila, in the Polonnaruwa district falsely accused of hiding explosives on April 27, 2013
• Monks stage public protest on March 24, 2013 against Assemblies of God Church in Kottawa and worshippers attacked
• Anti-Christian-Muslim rally and hate speech on May 4, 2013 near the Sooriyawewa bus stand forced the Assemblies of God church in Sooriyawewa to close down
• Police ordered Pastor of the HBI Opma Ministry in Deniyaya in the Galle district on April 27, 2013 to stop Worship services and prayer meetings
• Arson attack on April 24, 2013 on the residence of the Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Sooriyawewa
• Police orders Prayer Meeting at home of member of the Assemblies of God Church, in Wallasmulla, Hambantota to be discontinued on April 7, 2013
• Pastor of Gethsemane Church in Watapola, in the Galle district, where a worship service was in progress on March 16, 2013 was forced by a mob to make a statement discontinuing services
• Bodu Bala Sena convened village meeting on March 10, 2013 to stop Christian Ministry of the Assemblies of God Church in Agunukolapalassa, in the Hambantota district
• Mob disrupted a meeting of Christians belonging to the Light House Church in Hatharaliyadda in the Kandy district on February 17, 2013 claiming it to be illegal
• Living Voice of Life Church  in Morakottanchenai, in the Batticaloa district burnt down by unidentified persons on March 3, 2013
• An Independent Church in Wennappuwa, Gampaha was informed by police on February 3, 2013 that a court order would be issued against them, if Church prayer meetings continued.
• Prayer Meeting on March 24, 2013 of Believers Fellowship church in Ambalantota in the Hambantota district disrupted by mob and Pastor injured
• Complaint by monks leads police on March 22, 2013 to order temporary closure of Worship Services at Heavenly Vision Church in Kurunegala
• Pastor of the I am the Way (Margaya) Church in Sevanapitiya in the Polonnaruwa District threatened and told not to encourage or permit Buddhists to attend Prayer Meetings on March 19, 2013
• Mob disrupted Worship Service at the Jesus Good News Ministry in Wennappuwa in the Puttalam district, beat up the Pastor and threatened the congregation on February 24, 2013
• Anonymous caller threatened Pastor of Gospel Tabernacle Church in Grandpass on February 14, 2013 with death and burning down of the premises if he did not immediately stop holding Worship meetings
• Threats by Bodu Bala Sena on February 10, 2013 scare landlord from renting a premises to the Calvary Church in Malabe
• Name Board of the New Life Church in the Ratnapura district damaged by monks on January 29, 2013
• Fear that a new Church of Glory to Jesus Christ  was going to be built in Kurukkupane in the Puttalam district caused an uproar on January 21, 2013
• Worship Service at the Assemblies of God Church in Muthugala, Welikanda in Polonnaruwa disrupted by a mob on January 6, 2013

18 Comments for “The Fight Against Forced Religious Conversion”

  1. Sangaralingham

    Religion seem to be regionalized nationalized made language of the area as we’ll seem tobe infiltrated in the minds of individual y traditions socialization as a culture of the regio. My experience after looking into all religions all religion teaches us the simple things on life to respect each other if you read the commandment of Christian religion it can be applicable to all religion but in a certain different way all the religious teaching.what religion you belong keep it do not use for personal gain ambitious project political uplifting promotionas a source of discrimination. Respect others trust journey fellowmenprotect the young old children our sisters daughters mothers neighboured friends relations associates.

  2. sangeetga

    What kind of force is used to convert the people? Do they not embrace a different religion out of free will?

    • MS

      Yes what you said is absolutely correct!

      Although the heading of this article says “Forced Conversion”, no where it gives any details of the so called FORCED CONVERSION!

      As mentioned by SSP Ajith Rohana, “it’s unethical to bribe or give gifts and convert”, it’s not a forced conversion!

      what they are trying to achieve is to bring in a law, which prevents from converting to another relegion of their will. which is ofcourse by FORCE.

      There are NO FORCED CONVERSIONS happening in Sri Lanka, like for example, what happened in Spain by the crusaders.

      You may call it UNETHICAL CONVERSIONS! Then again, people who are converted this way, will not be true to this religion.

  3. Sam

    I am a Catholic and I know how these other Christian religions try to convert me. Not directly but in a very sneakish way. Even recently a group of Jevohas witness’s came to my home. This was inspite of us having a a blue and white flag at our home and they knowing that the Statue of Mother mary was at our place. They love to target Catholics because most of us our not familiar with the Bible. I have been to their churches as well ( AOG Church). Very interesting service. But you feel there is no depth at all.
    I must say that not a single Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim has ever tried to conver me or any of my friends. It is only these other Christian Religions. They should be stopped immediately before a religious war breaks out in Sri Lanka. Let’s respect each other for the belifs.

    • paul

      Sad to see a so called “Christian” not knowing the basics of his faith. The Bible calls upon all believers in Christ to actively share their faith amongst non-believers. if one does not share the message of Christ, he cannot be called a true believer. There is nothing wrong in a Jehovah’s Witness or any other Christian faction preaching their faith to people who are willing to listen, they’re merely following the teachings of the Holy Bible. There are bigger threats to the unity of this country than Christians!

    • Dave

      Pal, dont talk nonsense. How did they try to convert you? did they point a gun to your head and said .. convert.. dont joke. they would have tried to convince you about Biblical Christianity. but you have the free will to accept it or not. Why you say they should be stopped? are you afraid that they will convince you to be converted?

      You your self say .. you are not familiar with the Bible… so firs read and find out what is written there.

      It is everybody’s free will to choose a religion. No one can be converted to a religion by force unless someone accept it from the heart.

    • Pat

      I am not Jehovah witness’s. But You are not following the Christ teaching. You are blaming because you RC man and always pin point others for shake of benefit. I know who is RC very well, you always suport others than the Christian because you never healp Christian only RC. Go check First you and your people very well know about the Christian. You RC are jalousie of Christian, Blind teaches and taking others too hell

  4. mike

    BBS what about the Casino? and soon School Girls have to stand half nude for the Commonwealth Opening day of the conference …Sleep tight ..enjoy your drink
    Gahanasera

  5. kumar soysa

    A person who turns from one faith to another for material gain is unworthy. We, as Christians who are followers of Jesus, have never been told to “convert” any person from his/her current belief to Christianity. We are told to “Go to all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He/she who believes and is Baptized is saved….” (Mark 16;15) No Christian worthy of his/her salvation would “bribe” another person to turn from his/her current religion to Christianity with an offer of money; it makes no sense and the person who so “turns” is not saved. Neither would we condemn another religion or belief in order to force a person to accept Christianity. Christianity is Salvation, which is why the Lord Jesus Christ came to live among men. From the times of Nero, the Church of Christ has suffered violence and will continue to do so. But to those who really want to know the truth, it shall be revealed to them and they shall be saved. The anti-Christian attitude is nothing new. As we are told in Mathew 11;12, “The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force”. There are two kinds of violence. One is physical violence which are the tactics of the anti-conversion movements. The other is Spiritual violence, where anointed people of God wage Spiritual warfare against the forces of darkness.

    • Ashad Dole

      Today the World has a 7 billion, population, & NO single religion commands more than 1/7 th of this population.

      SO ALL OF US MUST UNDERSTAND, THAT WHAT EVER RELIGION/ BELIEF, WE BELONG TO OR HAVE, THERE ARE 6 (SIX), OTHERS WHO BELONG OR HAVE ANOTHER, RELIGION/BELIEF.

      All religions are man made, & we are born into one by chance & NOT BY CHOICE.

  6. lloyd

    How can someone force anyone?.. Preaching or Sharing is not forcing . You have a Choice to decide . Its like listing to the Banna on TV or any TV Radio religious program . If you are convinced and you think you have to change your ways, then its His/Hers free will.

    2500 years ago the Hindus were converted to Buddhist.
    The force religion changed happen during the Portuguese rule. During British rule, people change to get concession/benefits
    Its not happening today, Free choice to talk to them or not And it everyone have a free will to chose to change

  7. lloyd

    Everyone have a free will, Everyone can decide what’s good and bad. No one can be forced to change religion . What the Christians are doing is talking about a RELATIONSHIP with God. IF SOMEONE IS FORCED , THEN THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP , Relationship comes only through LOVE . Is there any evidence to prove from the people who have changed?NO.. The only complain is from the people who haven’t changed , So they are not forced . They had their choice to say NO

  8. Noel

    This is all nonsense. No human being should declare a religion for him or her self until the age of 55 (retirement age). At that time, they can go and meditate on their choice until they die.

    Human beings need to be left alone to weigh all the options offered by science and religions. I do not believe anyone has the “correct” answer and I do not believe anyone ever will! So, lets just leave it as a journey of discovery and leave it at that.
    For God’s sake…! whatever…!

  9. D.E.M. Ocracy

    I PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED THE POWER OF THE LIVING GOD JESUS CHRIST IN MY LIFE…. AND NO ONE EVER OFFERED ME ANY INCENTIVE OR CASH BENEFIT….. ACCEPT AS IS PROMISED IN THE INFALLIBLE WORD OF GOD……. YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT IS COME ON YOU…… AND YES THIS I DID RECEIVE TO FACE THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS, THE SORROWS AND DEFEATS IN LIFE…..

    CARDINAL MALCOLM RANJIT DO YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO MAKE STATEMENTS OF THIS NATURE FOR THE GOD THAT YOU BELIEVE IS THE GOD THAT SAVES AND JESUS HAS COMMANDED US TO GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES AND IT SEEMS THAT YOU ARE QUITE COSY IN YOUR MANSION WITH THE BEST BENEFITS NOT IN THE LEAST CONCERNED ABOUT THOSE SOULS GOING TO A LOST ETERNITY……. DISGRACE ON YOU MALCOLM RANJITH YOU SHOULD TENDER A GENERAL APOLOGY TO GOD ALL MIGHTY ASKING HIM TO FORGIVE YOU …… AS YOU KNOW THE TRUTH .

    TO THOSE OF OTHER RELIGIONS …… OUR PRAYER IS THAT GOD WILL FORGIVE YOU……. EVEN AS JESUS CHRIST SAID AS HE HUNG OF THE CROSS …….. FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO…… THIS IS OUR PRAYER TO ALLL THOSE OF OTHER RELIGIONS WHO ATTACK AND HUMILATE CHRISTIANS IN SRI LANKA…… MAY THE LOVE OF GOD TOUCH THEIR HEARTS AND MAY THOSE PERSECUTORS COME TO A LIVING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LIVING GOD …….. THIS IS OUR PRAYER..

  10. M. Vanbeoff

    What rubbish about forced conversions. No one no one at all can forcibly convert anyone, it is a matter of one’s own free will.

    On the other hand does the VINAYA permit Buddhist Monks to play a part in Politics and behave like hooligans on streets, more like Criminals. Does the VINAYA permit Buddhist Monks to enter Parliament., certainly NO.

    Why does the Government not ban Buddhist Monks from these activities or on the other hand are the attacks of not only Christians, but now the Muslims as well sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka.

    It is a known fact that Malcolm Ranjit the head of the Catholic Church goes hand in glove with the Government of Sri Lanka and lives a luxurious life in a Mansion, but this is not the teaching of Jesus Christ and even the present Pope HIs Holiness Pope Francis had displayed the simplicity and Christlike life and we do admire Him. Malcolm Ranjit you should be derobed and sent home for these statements made, as Christians – no matter whether Catholics or whatever – we are all called to proclaim the Gospel – and if the Holy Spirit convicts a heart and change begins in that life and this is a mystery – but the truth – IT ONLY TAKES A SPARK TO SET A FIRE GOING – AND SIMILARLY IT ONLY TAKES ONE LIFE TO CHANGE A VILLAGE.

    I thank God for the simple life of a Widow who lived down our lane, who gave me the desire to know the God that she served, as her life was filled with love – LOVE TO THE EXTENT OF LOVING THOSE WHO HURT HER – i THANK GOD FOR AUNTY ROSA AS YEARS LATER I CAME TO THE LIVING EXPERIENCE OF THE LIVING GOD JESUS CHRIST.

    To all those who persecute Christians keep in mind that even the Late Great Jawahalal Nehru said that CHRISITANS GROW UNDER PERSECUTION – so persecutors of the Church in Sri Lanka you are all playing with the wrong people, for we have a greater weapon PRAYER AND WITH PRAYER WE WILL CONQUER. WE WILL STILL LOVE YOU PERSECUTORS AND YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP US FROM STORMING THE GATES OF HEAVEN FOR YOU.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT CONVERSIONS DONT TAKE PLACE BY MATERIAL GAIN – BUT ONLY THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – AND NO ONE NO NOT ANY ONE CAN BRING AN END TO THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – CHURCHES CAN BE DESTROYED – PASTORS CAN BE INJURED OR KILLED – CONGREGATIONS CAN BE DISPERSED – BUT NO ONE CAN DO ANYTHING TO STOP THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

  11. janaka nanayakkara

    Religion is the Opium to the People …this was said, a Long time ago, but you can say it again and again and again..in to the future.

  12. Mooladharmavadiya

    Even during Lord Jesus’ time, It was the religious leaders who were upset at his teaching (except a few). This is the problem because today many join the clergy not because a call of God on their lives or even noble motives but to have a steady supply of free food, housing and veneration of the people (even heads of state venerate clergy).
    Holy Apostles of Christ such as St. Peter (uneducated fisherman-common man) & St Paul (very educated – upper class elite) were also beaten, mocked and jailed, ultimately martyred with the full blessings of the religious leaders.

    The early Catholic and other Christian missionaries who came to Sri Lanka left the comforts of European life, and lived lives far away from their own, in poverty stricken and harsh conditions, motivated by a desire to share the love of Christ with unknown inhabitants of the land. It is not because they wanted them to join “apey aagama” but they took the words of the Lord Jesus seriously- that whoever believes in Him will not perish (in hell) but have everlasting life.Many gave their lives in service of the Lord.

    Today, those living in Palaces and living cushy lives are upset when Christ is preached to others. There are a few Catholic Priests and Sisters and even laymen who are very devout and godly- some well known with thousands attending their meetings and some whose good works are known only by the poor they serve and by God.

    Others seem to be worried as to why people are leaving the church- the only explanation they have is that people are being deceived. Can it possible be other reasons?
    1. Lack of love in the church?
    2. Human doctrines replacing the Holy Word of God?
    3. Futile traditions which have no sound doctrinal basis?

    People are fed up of “religion” and are longing for a touch from God.

  13. Kasyapa

    You have forgotten to mention the burning down of a 13 foot tall statue of Mary, the Mother of the Eucharist which had been put up at Avissawella to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Church of the same name..

    No one had been apprehended.

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