Urgent Action Sri Lanka


The following alert comes from the Jubilee Campaign.  I encourage you to take action.

Greetings!

An Anti-Conversion Bill was presented yesterday, cloaked in secrecy, for a second reading to the Sri Lankan Parliament. It is expected to go up for a Third Reading in February and likely to be passed. The Anti-Conversion Bill would have serious consequences for Christians in Sri Lanka. Please read more details and how you can help to stop this Bill from passing below.


Jubilee Campaign USA

 

 

 

 

 

The Anti-Conversion Bill and What to Do to Stop It

 

An advocate with the National Christian Fellowship of Sri Lanka reports that standing committee member John Amaratunge MP, former Christian Affairs Minister from the opposition party, believes the bill will pass as the govenment “needs only a simple majority,” which was also later confirmed by Ravi Karunanayake, a leading member of the opposition and a former Minister.

The most effective way to protest is to pray that the Lord would intervene at this time and to contact the Sri Lankan embassy. The contact information for the Sri Lankan Embassy in the United States is:

His Excellency Jaliya Wickramasuriya
Ambassador of Sri Lanka
2148 Wyoming Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008
Tel:  (202)-483-4025
Fax: (202)-232-7181
Email: slembassy@slembassyusa.org or consular@slembassyusa.org

Please make a phone call, send a fax, or send an email depending on your capabilities throughout the day. Raising awareness with any contacts at the government level would be helpful also. A sample of a letter to the Sri Lankan Ambassador can be found below.

 

 

 

 

His Excellency Jaliya Wickramasuriya
Ambassador of Sri Lanka
2148 Wyoming Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008
 
 
Dear Ambassador Wickramsuriya,
 
I have received word that an anti-conversion bill has been presented twice now to the Sri Lankan Parliament as of January 7 and will likely pass in February when it goes up for its third reading. The passage of an anti-conversion bill has serious implications for religious minorities and for the freedom of religious expression and choice for all people of Sri Lanka and must be stopped.
 
If vulnerable and poor people are forced to convert in order to receive certain resources or aid from religious groups, this is not to be taken lightly and merits investigation based on unethical behavior.  However, passing a law that would ultimately deny the right for a person to choose to convert is morally and legally unacceptable because of the negative effects it will have on many upstanding citizens of Sri Lanka and in contravention of universally accepted religious freedom standards.
 
The people of Sri Lanka should have the freedom to convert without fear of police intervention, discrimination or oppression. The draft bill which proposes to summarily try anyone accused of attempting to cause forcible conversion is vaguely written and will stifle acts of charitable kindness.   Proposed punishments of imprisonment for a term up to five years and fines up to Rs. 150,000 are harsh and draconian. These punishments could be very easily manipulated to promote the demise of religious minorities.
 
Please take a stand with your government today and ask Parliament not to pass this bill. A timely response is necessary. We have seen these anti-conversion laws used against religious minorities in many countries, including India, Pakistan, Iran, and Sudan, to justify killings, torture, and persecution. Please work diligently to promote religious freedom for your people and use the law to promote the tolerance of all beliefs.
 
Sincerely,

 

Ann Buwalda
Executive Director, Jubilee Campaign USA

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