6. Recent Updates from[b] Sri Lanka, [/b][b]India [/b]and [b]China[/b]
Sri Lanka's Christian community is facing renewed concerns about future
religious freedoms following the results from the November 17
election. Prior to his election, Mahinda Rajapakse had formed an
with the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a party composed entirely of
monks whose primary purpose has been to pass anti-conversion
Sri Lanka. In his first address as president, Rajapakse pledged to
Buddhism but also provide freedom for all other religions. It remains
seen how this will be demonstrated. His appointment of Ratnasiri
Wickramanayake as Prime Minister raises further concerns.
had previously served as Minister of Buddhism and was responsible for
introduction of the government's anti-conversion bill, ironically
"Freedom of Religion Bill." For more information on Sri Lanka, go to
http://www.persecution.net/country/srilanka.htm. A video report from
Lanka is also available at http://www.persecution.tv.
Last week, the Persecution and Prayer Alert reported on a threat to
sixty Christians to death if they did not re-convert to Hinduism (see
http://www.persecution.net/news/india92.html). Compass Direct reported
November 21 that because of police intervention, the planned
ceremony was cancelled. The situation in the community remains tense.
Twenty villagers met on Sunday for worship, despite the threats.
The Persecution and Prayer Alert reported on November 9 that the law
representing Pastor Cai and several other religious rights cases had
suspended from operations for a year (see
http://www.persecution.net/news/china97.html). With the visit of U.S.
President Bush, the head of the firm, Gao Zhisheng, was ordered to
Beijing to prevent him from contacting the U.S. delegation. According
November 22 report from China Aid Association (CAA), Gao now faces the
removal of his license to practice law. He, his wife and 12-year-old
daughter have also faced threats from secret police. Gao reports that
police have repeatedly attempted to force his car off the road. Gao has
recently become a Christian and intends to be baptized in a house
CAA encourages concerned Christians, particularly those who know
express their concern for Brother Gao. His email address is
firstname.lastname@example.org. His telephone number is +86-10-81990759. You can
contact Wu Yuhua, Director General of the Beijing Judicial Bureau, to
express your concern about they suspension of Gao's law license at
email@example.com or phone +86-10-58575683.
The Persecution & Prayer Alert is a ministry of The Voice of the
Canada. (Mailing address: P.O. Box 117, Port Credit, Mississauga,
Tel. (905) 670.9721. Fax: (905) 670.7642
Contact Person: Glenn Penner, Communications Director.