The last three weeks of March saw a downward trend in the intensity of attacks on Churches and Christian homes. This corresponds with the period of active political campaigning during the run-up to the Parliamentary Election on April 2, 2004.
Although violent attacks have decreased during this period, threats and intimidation of Christians continue. Over 100 Churches have been forced to close down due to attacks, arson, threats, etc.. As a result, the congregations of many of these attacked Churches in rural areas cannot meet for worship services anymore. Some pastoral workers have been threatened with death if they resume their ministry or return to the village or area where they ministered. Propaganda material and public rallies promoting anti-Christian feelings continue to be held.
For the upcoming election, the Jathika Hela Urumaya party is contesting the election with over 200 Buddhist Monks as candidates, seeking election to Parliament. One of their pledges is to introduce legislation restricting the freedom to convert from one religion to another.
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka, a member of the World Evangelical Alliance, is asking for the Christian community to pray for Sri Lanka as elections are held on April 2. “Please pray for Sri Lanka at this crucial time of election; that God's Sovereignty will prevail over our land. Pray also for a peaceful election, free of violence and intimidation.”