Monday, July 09, 2012

International Prayer Request: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka


(Originally posted prior to my hitting the reset button here at Fire & Hammer.)

Adam and Eve: created by God and originally placed in the Garden of Eden. But they were not able to make a permanent home in the garden, a little issue of sin coming between them and the Lord. The Bible tells us God moved Adam and his wife out of the garden, setting a fiery sword to keep him from eating of the tree of life. Where on the vast landscape of earth did Adam first set foot as he left the warmth of paradise? Christians in Sri Lanka once believed that Adam’s first step outside of the Garden of Eden was on a mountain top known as Adam’s Peak.

Standing at 2243 meters (7360 feet) tall Sri Pada, located in the southwest portion of Sri Lanka, is a pyramid shaped mountain with significance to four major religions. On its summit is what appears to be a footprint measuring over five feet long and two feet wide. Christians in Sri Lanka once believed this to be the footprint of Adam, left after he was exiled from the Garden of Eden. Other Christians in the area have said it is the footprint of the Apostle Thomas who is credited with bringing Christianity to this part of Asia. But Christians are not the only ones who place religious significance on this ‘footprint’

Muslim tradition also speaks of the mount as being the place where Adam first stepped out of the Garden of Eden. By tradition it is believed that Adam spent some time up on this mountain mourning his exile before joining Eve. Buddhists say this is a footprint left by Buddha on his third visit to Sri Lanka. Hindus claim the print to be that of one of their gods who left it during a dance. The mountain was also worship by aborigines who named it Samanala Kanda after one of the ‘guardians’ of the island. Because of these legends Sri Pada (holy or sacred footprint) is considered sacred by many in Sri Lanka.

The Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean just south of India. According to CIA.gov the country is slightly larger than the state of West Virginia. Its 21 million people enjoy a tropical climate while dealing with two different monsoon seasons: one beginning in December in the northeast; the other beginning in June in the Southwest. The people are described as being multicultural and multi-religious but divided by class and caste. While the majority of the people are Buddhists there are also a significant number of Hindus, Christians, and Muslims among the nation’s citizens.

The blending of these different cultures and religions has not always gone smoothly. In fact Sri Lanka has very recently seen significant ethnic tensions and the nation endured over two decades of civil war. Various estimates show a hundred thousand killed during this war and many more being displaced or imprisoned. Pray for these displaced persons and for the 23% of the population left living in poverty. Pray for the people as they deal with a significant sanitation problem as described at IPSNEWS.net. It seems a large amount of human waste winds up in lakes without being treated, creating what could become a major health hazard. Pray for a solution to this problem.

Pray for the Christians who make up only 7% of the population in Sri Lanka. With the blending of cultures in the nation pray that the Christians living there will maintain a pure religion, not taking on the traditions of the other beliefs surrounding them. Pray for the spread of the gospel in Sri Lanka, that we will see that 7% number increase.

As always, thank you for standing with our neighbors here on earth by lifting up a word of prayer. And remember, pray and make yourself available in case God wants to use you to help someone else.

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