This week's point for prayer is the island nation of Sri Lanka. It lies 80 km to the southeast of India, with a population around 20 million souls. The administrative capital is Colombo (2.5m) and the legislative capital is Sri Jayewardenepura (0.15m). The other major city is Jaffna (0.75m).

Most Sri Lankans (75%) are Sinhalese, among whom Buddhism is the principal religion. The Tamil minority of 17% are mainly Hindus. There is a small Christian minority within both groups. Major languages are Sinhalese, Tamil, and English. Independence came in 1948, the year Britain recognized India's independence. But power struggles and animosity between Tamils and Sinhalese have continued, and for the past two decades there a low grade war has been underway. This is exacerbated by the government stance on religion: though freedom of worship is promised, Buddhism receives special protection and status.

Please pray for the nation of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) today, and especially for your brothers and sisters in this beautiful, but troubled, land.

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