Persecution

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Sri Lanka (MNN) — On May 19, Sri Lanka marked the 10th anniversary of the end of the war with the Tamil rebels. Even amidst celebration, the specter of a new terror threat prompted the president, Maithripala Sirisena, to remind people that defeating the separatist guerrillas a decade ago meant Sri Lanka would meet the challenge from extremists now. He also vowed to crush the militants responsible for the Easter bombings that claimed 258 lives...

 

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Sri Lanka mapAsian Access partners with a local movement to meet needs in Sri Lanka following the bombings

Asian Access is partnering in Sri Lanka with a significant nationwide movement there that has consistently responded to disaster needs as long term involvement. Here is an initial list of response directly from this movement to the practical needs of the Sri Lankan people affected by the Easter bombing... 

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flag of Sri LankaDear Friends, Church was different for us today. A week after the Easter bombings that devastated our nation, and ongoing threats of a second wave of attacks, the island is under high-security surveillance. A curfew has been imposed every night allowing the security forces to check every house. As they do so they continue to uncover more bombs and plans of the extremist terrorist group. We are still quite shaken by the drastic turn of events in our little nation. Just a week ago Sri Lanka was a peaceful tropical Island, dubbed the top tourist destination of 2019 (according to Lonely Planet). Today, all Christian churches were advised against meeting in our usual places of worship. Our network of churches across the Island met in...

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Sri Lanka mapJoe Handley, Asian Access, April 26, 2019

MNN speaks with Asian Access President Joe Handley about the State of the Church in Sri Lanka in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings, and how Christians are handling the chaos.

By R.B. Klama | April 26, 2019... 

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courtesy PrexelsSri Lanka on high alert as it mourns bombing victims

Sri Lanka (MNN) — Two days ago on April 21 – Easter Sunday – suicide bombers triggered nearly-simultaneous attacks in six heavily-populated locations. Associated Press lists the locations here. Today, Sri Lankans unite in a national day of mourning to recognize more than 290 bombing victims. Many Christians lost their lives when suicide bombers targeted three churches with large congregations. “They targeted this day, Easter Sunday, because of the vast numbers of people they could impact,” adds...

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sri.st anthonys.jc (photo courtesy Joshua Clayton)A Tragic Easter in Sri Lanka

By now you have seen the tragic news about Easter Sunday from Sri Lanka. 3 churches were bombed during Easter services as well as three prominent hotels, one safe house and another location where police were stationed. At least 258 people have died and more than 500 people have been wounded. Later I learned that two Islamic centers also saw attacks in the northern part of the island. Our colleagues heard the bombs going off during their church services: "We heard of the explosions during our Easter service. We were on lockdown but proceeded the service and sent the believers home ASAP. We were unaware of the gravity of the situation… It is difficult to understand, but we are holding on to God. We are grieving with our people. We are safe. But we are absolutely devastated. Scared. And overwhelmed." They thanked us for praying and asked us to specifically pray that this act of terror could be a turning point in their nation...

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WWL2019 Map 700px

Every time I turn around these days there are reports of increasing persecution of believers and churches in various countries. It seems that persecution is on the rise as nationalism becomes the political whim of the moment. 10 of the 16 countries Asian Access serves have seen persecution expand. Here are a few glimpses from just this past week: “One of our Bible college alumni is beaten by people, accusing of converting people while he was returning with friends helping people with relief material.” ... In another Asian nation, our national director shared this...

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ODM chinaPrayer requested as persecution increases

Reports are coming out every few days about the persecuted church and it appears that a new wave of this type of pressure is rising. Just yesterday, several news stories released about China and these are just the tip of the iceberg:

And, I can verify these and many more. Recently, I...

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ancient antique architecture 879359 500pxIt seems like every day, I’m hearing more reports about persecution happening in the world. I recently left a country that is under significant duress. The week we were there, a crackdown occurred in one of their most famous towns – a town known for having one of their national symbols. The pastors, alumni of Asian Access, had gathered together for a city-wide gathering of churches, only to be harassed by their local community. It seems that everyone is after them: government officials, religious authorities and even the neighbors. It’s sad to see and many lives are often at stake. This type of situation is on the rise in many of the countries we work in. We see this type of harassment happening in more than half the countries we work in and so we could use your prayers. More importantly, they need your prayers!

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