One Sunday morning in 2013, a mob of 20 villagers led by Buddhist monks interrupted Pastor Priyantha’s service in the Living Water church in Sri Lanka. They tried to scare the congregation by throwing chairs around, tearing up Bibles and shouting at the pastor to stop preaching.
One of them hit Priyantha on the head with a guitar as he prayed at the altar. When his children saw blood running across their father’s face they were terrified.
Shortly afterwards the pastor and his wife were disturbed by a return visit in the night. Their church had been set alight, and they were not able to save it.
Despite this, Pastor Priyantha refused to leave his village and his church. He chose to stay, to continue to preach the gospel and to pray for his enemies. He was still standing in 2017, when he and his wife featured on a video which can be seen by clicking on the preview below.
The situation in Sri Lanka is becoming increasingly difficult for all non- Buddhists, and all who speak out against persecution. Bodu Bala Sena, an extreme Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism group, is responsible for many attacks and is condoned by the government.
A recent election has given more power to those trying to introduce anti-conversion laws which will certainly increase the scope of persecutors.