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Mission Network News

MNN – Earlier this week we told you about a proposed amendment to the [ Sri Lanka ] Constitution that would make Buddhism the state religion.

The measure was to come up for debate October 4th. However, Voice of the Martyrs Canada’s Glenn Penner says nothing happened because there wasn’t enough support generated to take up the debate.

As to the why: “What they would rather do is to avoid controversy and upsetting the international community at this time, with the presidential elections at hand. The amendment did receive a great deal of publicity internationally, and the Sri Lankan government came under a great deal of heat for it, so they’re backing off very quickly.”

The JHU, a Buddhist monk poltical party, has tried three times to force their agenda through. There are two anti-conversion bills on the table, and there’s the proposed amendment that would make Buddhism the state religion.

In an election year, though, it appears that none of the politicians want the ire of the international community. That means the proposals may get shelved, prompting strong reaction from the JHU members.

That could change after the November 17th election cycle. Penner urges Christians to remember the body of Christ there.

Because the JHU will likely not give up without a fight, there is concern over those involved in ministry. “Pray for the believers there, that they would not suffer retaliation for this setback of the Buddhist agenda. There is concern, of course that, particularly in rural areas, Christians may suffer from some of the anger that Buddhists feel over being thwarted on this amendment.”

Penner credits the vocal outcry of the body of Christ and their prayers for the outcome on this issue. Pray that the government of Sri Lanka will respect the religious rights of all its citizens by continuing to resist any such amendments to the country’s constitution.