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International – Sri Lanka

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Christians in Sri Lanka have been badly affected by severe flooding, with at least 191 deaths reported, 5,500 injured and 465,000 people displaced.

At least 200 churches have also been affected by the worst rains since 2003, which have caused terrible devastation in south and west Sri Lanka at the end of May.

According to Barnabas Fund, one pastor was unable to conduct the funeral of a Christian killed by a landslide, because the roads were cut off. He told Barnabas Fund how the family had to bury their loved one on their own property and then evacuate, as further landslides were expected.

It is understood at least 5,000 Christian families are among those affected, with several Christians killed. However, according to Barnabas Fund, many Christians who live with daily persecution have not sought shelter in the relief camps, fearing hostility from others in the camp, especially in camps established in Buddhist temples.

This applies particularly to churches in the Deniyaya and Dondra areas of Southern Province. The most dangerous areas are the unstable slopes of the hill country, but these are also the places where it is most difficult for city-based agencies to get help to.

There is no electricity, little clean water and a high risk of waterborne diseases developing. People are also fearful that reservoirs will burst, endangering nearby towns.

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