Pray for Sri Lanka

 Learn about and pray for Sri Lanka in just 5 minutes per week!

Receive one email per week for 13 weeks about Sri Lanka’s history, geography, persecution profile, and largest unreached people groups.


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Pray along with a local believer for their nation.


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Operation World

Pray through Operation World's country profile.


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World Watch List

Pray through the country's persecution profile.

WEEKS 4-13

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People Groups

Pray for the country's 10 largest unreached people groups.


Sri Lanka has recently been engulfed in an economic crisis that led to to rampant inflation, a fuel shortage, and a political ouster. Peaceful protests later turned violent in July 2022 when protesters stormed the presidential palace forcing the prime minister to resign. The country has also had a history of religious and ethnic tensions, which have added to the stability.

Prior to the economic instability was the COVID-19 epidemic and the coordinated bombings of churches on Easter Sunday in 2019 that killed over 250 people.

Priot to that was a long-standing civil war that ended in 2009 and the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 30,000 in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka needs our prayers for peace, stability, and unity through the gospel.

3 Sri Lankan women standing against a wall

Fast Facts

Capital City: Colombo

Population: 22,500,000 (14% unreached)

People Groups: 161

Unreached People Groups: 73

Frontier People Groups: 53

10/40 Window: Yes

map of people groups in Sri Lanka

Major People Groups: Sinhalese 75%, Sri Lanka Tamil 11%, Sri Lanka Moors 9%, Indian Tamil 4%

Religion: Buddhist 70%, Hindu 13%, Muslim 10%, Roman Catholic 6%, other Christian 1.3%

Language: Sinhala, Tamil

GDP Per Capita: $13,000

Literacy Rate: 92.6%

Did you know? Sri Lanka was once known as Ceylon when it was a British colony.

Pray for Sri Lanka’s unreached people groups

Even though Sri Lanka is 7.3% Christian, it is only 1.2% evangelical as Roman Catholics make up about 6% of the population. Sri Lanka’s largest people group, the Wahumpura (8.5 million people), is primarily Buddhist, but there are enough Christians that it is not considered unreached. 

Roughly 15% of Sri Lanka’s population lives in unreached people groups, or about 3.2 million people. Below are the 10 largest unreached people groups in Sri Lanka:


Name Religion Population
1. Tamil Islam 1,170,000
2. Sri Lanka Moor Islam 492,000
3. Batgama Buddhism 388,000
4. Shaikh Islam 207,000
5. Paraiyan Hinduism 105,000
6. Yamannu Buddhism 80,000
7. Primanar Hinduism 74,000
8. Ilavan Hinduism 71,000
9. Sayyid Islam 51,000
10. Pallan Hinduism 47,000


What is the largest people group in Sri Lanka?

The largest people group in Sri Lanka is the Wahumpura. They are a largely Buddhist people group of about 8.5 million people.

What is the largest unreached people group in Sri Lanka?

The largest people group in Sri Lanka is the Tamil. They are a Muslim people group of about 1.2 million people.

How many people groups are in Sri Lanka?

There are 161 people groups in Sri Lanka. Roughly half of the people groups are Hindu, but most of the largest ones are Buddhist.

How many unreached people groups are in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has 73 unreached people groups: 31 are Hindu, 24 are Muslim, and 17 are Buddhist and there is 1 "other/small".

Pray for Christians being persecuted

Sri Lanka was ranked #51 in the 2023 Open Doors World Watch List… just off the list of Top 50.

But the church bombings that killed 250 people on Easter Sunday give a stark reminder that Sri Lanka is not immune to violent and brutal attacks on Christians.

Persecution can come from Buddhist extremists, Hindu extremists, or the growing Muslim population.

World Watch List

You can learn about Christian persecution and pray for our brothers and sisters who being persecuted around the world by praying through the Open Doors’ World Watch List.


[God] has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.


2 Corinthians 1:10-11

How to pray for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with beautiful people, but it has gone through immense challenges since the turn of the century.


Please pray for:

  1. comfort and healing for the families of the victims of the 2019 church bombings
  2. peace and stability for the government, its leaders and the economy
  3. endurance and joy for believers in the midst of ongoing persecution
  4. more workers to reach Sri Lanka’s remaining 73 UPGs
  5. salvation for the people in the remaining UPGs

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Joel 2:28

Pray for Sri Lanka

 “Slow drip” your learning and prayers for  Sri Lanka: its history, geography, persecution profile, and largest unreached people groups.