Ministry Vision & Strategy

 

NCEASL worshipReligious freedom and worship in Sri LankaThe National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) was formed in 1952 shortly after Sri Lanka gained independence. With the mission of serving the national church, NCEASL is committed to transforming the nation through involvement in missions, human rights advocacy, and economic development. Since its inception the Alliance has grown significantly and today consists of organizations representing more than 200,000 evangelical Christians throughout the country.

 

imageOUT OF OPPOSITION, FRUIT

Pastor Namal is a church planter who works in an unreached area of western Sri Lanka. As soon as he arrived, he faced much opposition and persecution from the local people. His family’s home was attacked and damaged. But later, with help from NCEASL, he started a yogurt business that allowed him to interact on a daily basis with his neighbors. Soon, he began to gain acceptance and saw many people open their hearts to the Gospel. His business grew, and with his earnings he was able to support his family and send two of his disciples to Bible college. Giving believers like Pastor Namal a stable livelihood not only affords his family much-needed stability, it also provides a natural way for him to meet and share the Gospel with new people each day.

 

 

Context

 

Sri Lanka is an island nation of 20 million people located off the southern tip of India. Buddhism is the state religion claiming 72 percent of the population, with Hinduism and Islam at 12 and 8 percent respectively. Evangelicals number less than one percent.

After gaining independence, the country struggled to define itself and was torn apart by religious and communal violence. Efforts by extremists to establish an independent Tamil state in the north and east led the country into civil war in 1983. Though the war ended in 2009, ethnic tensions remain high. Families are struggling to recover from the deaths of more than 80,000 of their countrymen. More than 200,000 people are internally displaced, and many remain in refugee camps. The long struggle for peace has earned the country the name “the island of tears.”

Sri Lanka is one of the few non-Muslim countries where Christianity has been in decline. However, over the last ten years, a surge of spiritual life and vision has brought a sense of expectancy among Christians. At the same time, Buddhists and Hindus have become significantly more open to the Gospel.

This growth has come at a high cost. Over the last several years more than 150 churches have been burned and many Christian workers assaulted. Only about 3,000 villages, out of a total of more than 38,000, have any kind of Christian witness.