Barnabas Fund, 22 February 2022
A Sri Lankan pastor was served with a notice barring him from holding church services in his home.
The letter – citing communications between the police and Sri Lanka’s central government – asserted that express permission is required for a building to be used as a place of religious worship.
The letter added that there were objections to Christian worship taking place in the pastor’s home from the local authority overseeing Buddhist affairs.
The pastor, who has been using his home for worship since 2013, has sought the necessary permission several times, but has received no response from the Ministry of Buddhas asana and Religious Affairs.
A Barnabas Fund contact explained that the law does not in fact require official registration for places of worship.
“The government is trying to get the information about house churches,” he explained. “This is a new development by the Ministry trying to crack down on house churches.
Sri Lankan Christians, who make up 8% of the population, suffer discrimination and harassment and sometimes violence from Buddhist extremists, Muslim extremists and Hindu extremists.