Despite several attacks on its attendees and attempts to shut down services, one Sri Lankan church is helping provide emergency relief for their persecutors. Kumar* was on his way to church when several villagers attacked him and the women who came to aid him, including his wife. The whole community was shaken, one of them telling an Open Doors partner, “What hurt the most was that even though Jesus suffered so much for us, we can’t even serve Him freely.”

Now in lockdown for more than two months, villages around Sri Lanka have been hit hard. With few able to properly provide for their families, Kumar’s church, which cannot be named for security purposes, saw both a need and an opportunity.

With assistance from Open Doors, the church was able to provide rations for 100 families in the village, including those who had attacked Kumar. According to local believers, this simple act of generosity has transformed their community like never before.

The pastor of the church, Shiyanth* shared, “Doing this gave us more opportunities to share the gospel and show the love of Christ. More people are eager to know the Lord. I see a great renewal within the church. Even the local government representative in the village has changed his attitude towards the Christian community. We are building better relationships with the people now.”

*Not their real names.

Open Doors