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Greg Mundis
AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis in Sri Lanka.

The U.S. Assemblies of God is not the only AG celebrating its centennial this year.

More than 22,000 people gathered at a rugby stadium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Pentecostal missionaries who came to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1914, the same year the U.S. Assemblies of God was founded.

Thousands travelled long distances at great personal sacrifice to attend the event despite extreme persecution by religious extremists. Across the country, more than 200 AG churches have been attacked and vandalized, and some have been burned. A number of pastors have been physically beaten and even martyred.

AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis spoke at the event encouraging pastors to continue to persevere in proclaiming the gospel and establishing more churches. He says, "I was overwhelmed by God's work in Sri Lanka and by the passion believers had to be together to celebrate! They are putting everything - themselves, their families, everything - on the line to spread the gospel. They are modern-day living martyrs. It was humbling."

Dishan Wickramaratne, general superintendent of the Sri Lanka AG and pastor of Peoples Church, a congregation of more than 8,000 in Colombo, the nation's capital, will be speaking at the centennial celebration of the U.S. Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri, on August 9.

Recently Pastor Wickramaratne said, "When persecution has increased, we remember what one of our pastors said, 'If our faith is good enough to live for, it's good enough to die for.'"

To view pictures from the Sri Lanka celebration, see the AG World Missions article.


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Pentecostal pastor beheaded in Tanzania

Mon, 18 Feb 2013 - 4:29 PM CST

Mathayo Kachili, pastor of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God church in Buseresere, Tanzania, - which is affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada - was beheaded when a group of religious extremists attacked Christians at the church on Monday, February 11.

"Escalating hostility and violence toward Christians in various places in Africa causes us grave concern for our brothers and sisters, and especially for our pastors," states Mike McClaflin, AG World Missions regional director for Africa. "Our prayers are with the family of Pastor Mathayo Kachili as well as the other pastors of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God in Tanzania and missionaries from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada laboring in East Africa."

Barnabas Mtokambali, the Tanzania AG general superintendent, encouraged Christians in the Tanzania AG to remain Christlike in their faith.

"Our response as a church is not one of violence and hatred, reflecting the attitude of those committing such crimes, but that of Christ and reflecting his image by loving and praying for those who humiliate and persecute us, and not holding such sins against them," Mtokambali says.
 
In light of the tragic events in Tanzania and ongoing persecution throughout the world, AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis urges Christians to increase their prayers for the suffering church.

"We must continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the context of this tragedy in East Africa and for the suffering church worldwide," Mundis says. "Following Christ has a price, as He said it would. The faithful obedience and sacrifice of believers like Pastor Kachili should motivate us to even more fervent and faithful prayer for the many who are suffering for the name of Christ."

Authors: AG News

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