Sri Lanka
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
October 17-18
Asia
Factbook

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5 Evangelicals have done much to improve theological education over the past three decades

6 Persecution has significantly increased in the 1990s in the wake of effective evangelical outreach

7 Missionary work has been restricted by the authorities

8 Special ministry challenges:

a) The Lanka Tamil community, once relatively prosperous but now impoverished, vengeful and fearful

b) The Estate Tamils have long been a despised and marginalized community

c) Young people

d) The villages present a challenge. Throughout the land are rural communities that have never heard the gospel

e) The urban slums are little evangelized

9 Unreached peoples of Sri Lanka:

a) The Moors are generally traders, bureaucrats and farmers

b) The Malays are syncretistic Muslims, and potentially more open

c) Other unreached social groups:

d) Tribal groups: the Rodhiya (7,000), Gypsies (1,000) and Veddah

10 Christian media ministries:

a) Literature. This is in great demand

b) The JESUS film has been fairly widely shown with the equivalent of 41% of the population viewing it

c) Radio. Sri Lanka is thinly covered by international broadcasters

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Politics

Independence gained in 1948, as a parliamentary democracy, after 450 years of successive colonial administrations by the Portuguese, Dutch and British.

Religion

Buddhism is the state religion and, as such, is protected and promoted.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Buddhist 71.93 13,542,300 +1.1%
Hindu 12.00 2,259,246 -0.6%
Muslim 8.00 1,506,164 +1.2%
Christian 7.62 1,434,622 +2.0%
non-Religious/other 0.20 37,654 +1.0%
Sikh 0.15 28,241 -0.3%
Baha'i 0.10 18,827 +1.0%
Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 20 0.87 164 +3.9%
Independent 41 0.58 109 +20.1%
Anglican 1 0.29 54 +0.7%
Catholic 1 5.58 1,050 +1.2%
Marginal 2 0.04 8 +2.4%
Unaffiliated   0.26 50 n.a.

Churches in Sri Lanka

Missionaries from Sri Lanka

717 in 18 agencies to 5 countries

Missionaries to Sri Lanka

145 in 39 agencies from 17 countries


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Geography


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Area 65,610 sq.km. Large island 80 km. south-east of India.

Population (2000) 18,827,054 +0.99%AGR

Capital Colombo (administrative) 2,400,000; Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative) 150,000.

Peoples

Sinhala 74.6%.

Tamil 17%.

Moor 7.6%.

Burgher 0.4%.

Other 0.4%.

Literacy 90%. Official languages Sinhala and Tamil, with English as the link language. All languages 7. Languages with Scriptures 3Bi.

Economy

Largest export earnings are from tea, textiles and foreign employment. HDI 0.721; 90th/174. Public debt 45% of GNP. Income/person $800 (2.5% of USA).

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