Religious Liberty Organizations Call Attention to Sri Lankan Crisis

Press April 8, 2009
April 8, 2009 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

(TORONTO, April 2009)  Key organizations that work on religious liberty issues around the world on Tuesday made strong statements on the civil war in Sri Lanka and launched a global campaign calling for prayer for that nation.  In what is being called “The Toronto Statement,” the Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) is calling the worldwide Christian community to pray for the crisis in Sri Lanka.  RLP member organizations include include Open Doors International (Holland), Christian Solidarity Worldwide (United Kingdom), The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada), HMK (Switzerland) and the Religious Liberty Commission of World Evangelical Alliance (representing 128 countries). 

The Toronto Statement acknowledges some positive elements within Sri Lanka, including the role that the church is playing, but expresses deep concern about the ways in which humanitarian efforts are currently being handled.  In addition, the Statement calls on the worldwide church to pray for work being done to ensure the religious rights of all Sri Lankans, and to support efforts to end hostilities and seek an enduring peace.   

“This is yet another example of the Christian family worldwide standing together and calling its members to pray into a complex, but very serious political situation,” said Mervyn Thomas, CEO of Christian Solidarity World, UK and Chairman of the Religious Liberty Partnership.  “The Toronto Statement is in full accord with the RLP’s reputation for taking a balanced approach in these issues and we trust that this call to prayer will be heeded by Christians globally.” 

“I believe this Statement captures the heart of what the RLP is about,” said Floyd Brobbel of The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada) and member of the RLP Leadership Team.  “Not only are we able to work together as individual organizations, but speak with a united voice to the issues that affect religious liberty.  We pray that this collective global voice will be able to give clear direction to the government officials we petition and influence positive change in the countries like Sri Lanka where religious liberty is threatened.” 

"The World Evangelical Alliance fully supports this statement and stands in prayerful solidarity with the Christian community in Sri Lanka at this time of crisis," said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the organization's International Director. He attended the Toronto meeting, noting that the statement is "extremely important" and deserves the highest attention of leaders around the world.

The Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) is a collaborative effort of Christian organizations in over a dozen countries focused on religious liberty.  The RLP seeks to more intentionally work together in addressing advocacy and in raising the awareness of religious liberty issues globally.  The current membership of the RLP is listed on the Toronto Statement.  

For more information about the Religious Liberty Partnership or the Toronto Statement, please contact Brian O'Connell:
E-mail:  [email protected]
Phone: +1-425-218-4718
 

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Toronto Statement on the Crisis in Sri Lanka Issued by the Religious Liberty Partnership April 2009 

As members of the Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) meeting in Toronto, Canada, we stand with our Christian brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka who seek the restoration of peace and reconciliation within their nation and who uphold fundamental human dignity, justice and rights, including religious freedom.  We specifically call on all Christian denominations and organizations worldwide to take this appeal for prayer to their members in recognition that we are One Body united in Christ. 

The RLP acknowledges: 

We call on the worldwide church: 

The Religious Liberty Partnership commits: 

Members of the Religious Liberty Partnership (websites are listed for prayer resources and additional information): 

  

The Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) is a collaborative effort of Christian organizations from around the world focused on religious liberty.  The RLP seeks to more intentionally work together in addressing advocacy and in raising the awareness of religious persecution globally.  Members of the RLP are primarily involved (that is the majority of their time, personnel, and resources) with ministry to persecuted Christians and/or on religious liberty issues in whatever context and strategy. 

For more information on the Toronto Statement or on the Religious Liberty Partnership, contact Brian O’Connell, RLP Facilitator at: [email protected]; +1 425-218-4718.