Sri Lanka faces a Presidential election on 8th January

Sri Lanka faces a Presidential election on 8th January. Please pray for a peaceful time and a good outcome in this troubled and tense country as it recovers from 26 years of civil war which saw atrocities committed by both sides and a difficult period of widespread injustices in the five years since the end of fighting. Read the pastoral letter from our partner, the national Christian Council here:

 

Dearly beloved in Christ,

We have celebrated another Christmas, the incarnation of God in Christ, who took the human form, sacrificed himself to death on the cross and rose again, defeating the powers of death and destruction. He came so that all may have life, life in its fullness and life eternal. God in Christ throughout history has always displayed his unending concern for every human being, ensuring human dignity and affirming life for all.

The festivities of Christmas will soon fade awayand the Presidential election is around the corner. The coming days could be characterized by violence, resulting in death, injury and destruction to property, campaigns and counter campaigns, arguments and counter arguments which could lead to unnecessary mudslinging, arrogance and display of brutal force.

We as Christians need to affirm that elections are an important mechanism in ensuring the participation of the people in the democratic arena, and is the duty and responsibility of every one to prayerfully exercise his franchise. It is the duty of every citizen to discern the signs of the time and cast his vote carefully, cautiously and with a sense of responsibility. No one should refrain from doing so. Hence we call upon everyone to vote on the election day.

Secondly, when making our choice, we need to be influenced by the values of our Gospel. Our choice has to be one that affirms the fullness of life to everyone, where every human being is respected, dignity ensured, and security assured. We should not be carried away by our individual interests, or groupish/clannish attitudes, but look to the welfare of every ordinary citizen in our country.

Thirdly, we need to always condemn all forms of violence and intimidation. Everyone must be free to make her/his choice. This is possible only if everyone has the views of all contenders. Therefore, the campaign must be fair and afford equal opportunity to all.

While urging to uphold the above, we would also like to remind our churches to be vigilant in your area of any violence or intimidation, which should be brought to the notice of the authorities concerned immediately. This is part of our Christian discipleship and obligation.

We urge all our congregations to pray for a peaceful election where democratic principles are upheld and pray for God's guidance and blessing on whoever is elected so that our beloved country can experience justice, peace and fullness of life to all.

 

Signed by:

Rt. Rev. D.R. Canagasabey - Chairperson of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka and Bishop of Colombo, Church of Ceylon. Diocese of Colombo.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel S. Thiagarajah, Bishop of Jaffna Diocese, Church of South India

Rt. Rev. Shantha Francis, Bishop of Kurunegala, Church of Ceylon, Diocese of Kurunegala

Rev. Dr. A.W. Jebanesan, President, Methodist Church of Sri Lanka

Rev. Priyantha Wijegoonawardene, President, Sri Lanka Baptist Sangamaya

Rev. Stanley Nelson, President, Christian Reformed Church

Rev. K. Piyadasa, President, Presbytery of Lanka

Commissioner Malcolm Induruwage, Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army

Rev. G. Nadarajah, President, Lanka Lutheran Church

Rev. W.P. Ebenezer Joseph, General Secretary, National Christian Council of Sri Lanka


27th December 2014


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