Sri Lanka Coronavirus (COVID-19) 28-29 March 2020

From seven pastors and Christian leaders in different parts of the country

  1. “I came to know that Christian families affected by the Easter Day [2019] attack in Katuwapitiya, are suffering due to continues curfew. Majority of the breadwinners have lost their income; many are daily pay workers and carpenters. Many children lost their fathers and wives become widows due to the bomb blast.”
  2. “Many pastors in our region are suffering due to closure and loss of income. In our area, we have around 20 Christian workers all who depend on Sunday offerings are financially struggling to meet their family and children’s needs. In our area, many societies, organisations and Buddhist temples are providing emergency relief for the needy communities. Christian workers and Christian families in rural areas are not be given any assistance from these organisations. Most people are asking what is the church doing? … I have witnessed Christians have been excluded in the relief provisions by the local organisations.” 
  3.  “We have three local congregations in village areas with 400 believers, and four full-time workers. With the prevailing situation, we are struggling to provide the living expenses for our workers. Most of our congregants are downtrodden and underprivileged, and they are fighting for their daily meals.” 
  4. “Christians are struggling for their daily needs, in our locality, many organisations are providing relief, but Christians are excluded from these relief efforts. We are appealing for help, our believers and workers in the hostile tea plantation areas. Politicians have provided some relief for families. Especially tea estate Christian families didn’t get any support.” 
  5. “We are going through a perilous situation in the country, it is affecting all religious and ethnic communities. We are all suffering together, but Christian workers and believers are suffering a step further compared to others, as they have been denied form relief efforts. We hoped Christian organisations and churches will raise support the rural Christians.  Rural organisations and temples are providing support for their own religious groups, I understand this situation will continue for weeks. In our network, we have 48 rural congregations, all are converts from other religions. Due to this situation, the converts and pastors will struggle for weeks and months.”
  6. “In my congregation all of them are daily wage-earning labourers, their income has been completely stopped. For some people, even you have the money you are not able to access goods due to limitations.”
  7. “Two weeks we couldn’t conduct services, that means we have lost our two weeks of offerings. Most of the Christian workers we depend on this weekly offering for our survival. We are going through a challenging time, a lot of organisations are helping the people, but Christians have been marginalised, I see organisations distributing relief house to house but avoiding Christian families.”