Area: 65,610 sq km
Large island 80 km southeast of India.
Population: 20,409,946 Annual Growth: 0.88%
Official language: Sinhala and Tamil, with English as the link language Languages: 7 All languages
Largest Religion: Buddhist
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
The anti-conversion bill was not brought to pass, not so much defeated as deferred. Its implementation would bring difficulties for a number of minorities, but especially for evangelicals seeking to share the good news. Praise God that it has not yet become reality; pray that it may never become so.
Sri Lanka has suffered much in the past generation. From the constant threat of the Sinhala-Tamil conflict to the tsunami of 2004 to the civil wars bloody conclusion in 2009, over 100,000 people have lost their lives, over 900,000 (mostly Tamils) emigrated or fled and over one million are displaced. Points for prayer:
a) A resolution of the long-term conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese. Defeating the LTTE as a force means little if enmity, resentment and rebellion are still brewing. Key players are the Sri Lankan government, the former LTTE core members, the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora and even India and China. Power sharing may be the only way to long-term peace. A new constitution is being considered, one to resolve ethnic antipathy and return the nation to a more secular status with no religious favouritism. Pray that wise heads may prevail, and that peace, reconciliation and freedom for religious minorities might take precedence over ethnocentrism, prejudice and pride.
b) A government that will work toward transparency, justice and the fair representation of all communities and their civil, economic and religious rights. Corruption and nepotism are too common. Post-2009, courageous decisions have been and will need to be made to oversee the healthy stewardship and development of this nation.
c) The handling of immense human needs in the aftermath of the civil war. Former LTTE fighters need to be reintegrated into society, the many injured and maimed government soldiers must be rehabilitated and given new vocations, orphans and widows must be cared for and half a million who were displaced need to be returned to their homes to rebuild their lives.
d) The fight against the many growing social ills:
i The plight of children malnutrition, selective abortion/female infanticide or abandonment, abuse (including sexual abuse) and child prostitution (including sex tourism) are evils that are sadly making names for themselves in Sri Lanka.
ii Sri Lankans working abroad, especially in the Middle East and Gulf regions, are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, especially since most of them are female domestic helpers. There are up to 700,000 such women willing to endure the risk in order to earn enough to send remittances home. Their absence is often very difficult on the children they leave behind.
iii Threats to traditional Sri Lankan culture include alcoholism, suicide, casual violence and rape.
For an additional 9 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Sri Lanka.