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Christian Persecution: 6 Quick Picks
ICC Note:
A round-up of instances of persecutions that happened around the world this month.  The situation in Sri Lanka is of particular concern.

By Rebecca Hamilton
06/14/2013 Worldwide (Patheos)- Buddhist monks have forced the closure of 18 churches in southern Sri Lanka, threatening pastors with death if they continue their activities.
Churches in Hambanthota have been under pressure for some time, but tensions have ratcheted up this month.
On 10 May, the district secretary of Hambanthota called a meeting of local officials, senior police officers and Buddhist and Christian leaders to discuss the situation. The legality of the local churches was questioned, and various accusations were leveled at the pastors by the Buddhist monks.
The Christian leaders were effectively told that they had to provide proof of the legality of their churches or else they would be closed down.
A follow-up meeting was held on 17 May at which the Buddhist monks said they had already closed down a number of churches – later confirmed as 18 by local pastors – and demanded that those still functioning also be shut.
The church leaders explained that, under Sri Lankan law, they have the right to practice their religion anywhere and that church registration is not required.
The authorities decided not to take any action against the churches at this stage, but a further meeting will take place in three months’ time.
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka said that the situation in the south remains tense. Local pastors told Barnabas Fund that the Buddhist monks have threatened them: “If you don’t stop your activities your destiny will be like Lional Jayasinghe”, a pastor who was martyred in Hambanthota in the 1990s.

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