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Religious Liberty & Social Justice Commission 

The Religious Liberty and Social Justice Commission (RLC), established in 1995, works to further religious freedom in Sri Lanka and advocate for minority rights. The RLC carries out local and international advocacy, documents rights violations, conducts research and carries out training to further religious freedom and broader human rights. Under the social justice mandate, the RLC trains and equips youth and vulnerable communities on democracy, good governance and human rights.

What We Do

1. Serving the persecuted church in Sri Lanka 

 

Supporting and strengthening the church to withstand and overcome persecution through

a. Advocacy

b. Litigation, research publications and documentation

c. Education and Training

d. Special projects of restoration  

 

2. Promoting social justice, peacebuilding and democracy

 

The RLC equips the church to be agents of peace, reconciliation and justice whilst supporting and engaging in work to advance social justice and human rights in the nation.

1. Serving the persecuted church in Sri Lanka

 

a. Advocacy

 

Advocacy involves local and international advocacy efforts and engaging with local government officials, police and community leaders to address Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) issues and concerns.

b. Litigation, research publications and documentation

 

Litigation comprises initiating and supporting legal action to promote FoRB in Sri Lanka. Further, the RLC also works with lawyers, training and equipping them on FoRB. 

Research Publications and Documentation

For over three decades, the RLC has documented religious liberty violations reported against the Christian community in Sri Lanka. Accordingly, the RLC produces regular reports highlighting trends and facts concerning incidents of FoRB violations.

Resources

The RLC has published numerous resources and publications to equip the Sri Lanka church, such as guides on FoRB, Right to Information, Land, and Burial rights. The RLC has also published trend analysis reports on incidents of persecution in Sri Lanka. Further, handbooks on Counter Speech strategies and Strategic Litigation have also been developed to equip stakeholders such as lawyers and youth to promote FoRB.

c. Education and Training 

 

Advocacy Seminars

The RLC conducts educational seminars to equip churches on laws, advocacy and reconciliation. Despite the challenges faced owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RLC trained over 400 pastors and ministry workers.

d. Special Projects of Restoration

 

The pandemic had a telling impact on rural communities. Therefore, we thank God that the RLC could provide relief to 3,675 families in different parts of the country. The RLC carried out this initiative in collaboration with the Relief and Development (RND), Missions and Evangelism, and Youth Evangelical Alliance (YEA) commissions of the NCEASL.

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ACT NOW

The RLC initiated the Act Now campaign following the constitutional crisis in 2018 to encourage and mobilise youth to champion democracy, the rule of law and good governance in Sri Lanka. Since its founding in 2018, Act Now has carried out workshops, seminars, discussion forums and public campaigns in the Central, Southern, Uva and Eastern Provinces. 

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Want to know more?

email us at: rlc@nceasl.org

Emergency relief, livelihood support and church reconstructions

The RLC also provided ten churches with support for rebuilding and emergency aid in 2021. Additionally, 73 families were given livelihood support in 06 provinces, including persecuted pastors and their families.

Educational scholarships for children and youth and support for Christian teachers

 

Evangel Care

The RLC has worked extensively with children from persecuted families over the past 02 decades. Accordingly, over 200 Christian children receive monthly educational ‘Evangel Care’ scholarships.

 

Youth Education

The Youth Education programme aims to build up, equip, educate, and empower youth undergoing severe difficulties. The RLC offers financial grants to pursue their educational aspirations. The RLC carried out this initiative in collaboration with the YEA. 

 

Christian Teachers

In Sri Lanka, Christian students face discrimination regarding religious studies in public schools. Furthermore, as public schools face challenges because of the shortage of teachers who teach Christianity, the NCEASL supports 43 teachers in 13 districts, reaching over 2,000 Christian students.

 

Bible Distribution

Over the past year, the RLC distributed 2,195 Bibles in Sinhala and Tamil to rural churches.

 

2. Promoting social justice, peacebuilding and democracy

 

As a means of demonstrating God's love and standing by Biblical principles of accountability and stewardship, particularly for marginalised communities, the NCEASL works in areas of democracy and good governance through its Social Justice arm. Further, the Social Justice arm publicly addresses issues of social injustice in the country. It actively works in nation-building, with particular emphasis on peacebuilding and reconciliation.

 

Advocacy for addressing social issues

The Social Justice arm carries out public campaigns to raise awareness through webinars and social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.