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Region South Asia
Leader President Maithripala Sirisena
Population 20 905 000
Christian 9.2%
Main Religion Buddhist
Government Republic
Rank 44
Score 57
Previous Rank 45
Previous Score 55

“The Sovereign Lord has spoken – so who can refuse to proclaim his message?”

In Sri Lanka the idea of Buddhist supremacy is on the rise. Dangerous attitudes continue to grow, especially in rural areas. Buddhist monks regularly attack believers. Pastors feel unequipped to face persecution and are left traumatised and unsure. Christians are exposed to acts of extreme violence and discrimination. If believers want to worship, they can only do so in registered houses. They are regularly visited by angry mobs and Buddhist monks.

School is difficult for Christian children. Religious education is compulsory, but due to the lack of Christian teachers, most kids are left attending Buddhist classes. If they do not want to, they are punished and even fined. They are subject to harassment, bullying and bad grades. Some children are even denied entry to certain schools because of their faith.

Christians are often prevented from accessing wells or electricity. They’re treated like second-class citizens. Believers aren’t allowed to be buried in public cemeteries, unless relatives perform Buddhist rituals. The pressure to deny Jesus is relentless. Christian businesses are often boycotted, and families’ livelihoods suffer.

Open Doors provides Christian literature for graduates of Bible seminaries and others, assistance through income-generating projects for believers affected by persecution, assistance to churches which have faced violence and need help, and preparing believers to deal with persecution.

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