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Churches Fear Sri Lanka Ban on 'Distorting the Original Teachings' of Christianity

Evangelical churches not recognized by government could be deemed cults.

Proposed legislation designed to prevent the spread of cults in Sri Lanka could impact the ministries of evangelical churches in the island nation.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Sri Lankan Religious Affairs Ministry "intends to introduce a legislation that enables authorities concerned to take action against anyone distorting the original teachings of the four main religions- Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity."

And that's bad news for evangelical churches, says Barnabas Aid.

"Evangelical churches are not recognized by the Religious Affairs Ministry and are thus liable to be labelled as 'cults' by those who do not understand the Christian faith and want to prevent activity they deem undesirable or threatening," the persecution ministry stated in a press release.

Meanwhile, Assist News reports "this proposed legislation is the latest threat to the Church in Sri Lanka, which has been facing increasing opposition."

CT previously reported attacks against evangelical churches in Sri Lanka as early as 2001. Several years later, CT reported on Buddhists' legislative attempts to "curtail Christian witness."

More recently, though, CT reported on "the joy of suffering in Sri Lanka" and profiled Ajith Fernando, a native Sri Lankan.

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