Nathanael Somanathan from Sri Lanka

Dear Friends,

Thank you for praying with us this week for Nathanael Somanathan from Sri Lanka.

Home to 22 million people (70% Buddhist, 13% Hindu, 10% Muslim, 7% Christian), the island nation of Sri Lanka lies southeast of India in the Indian Ocean. The teardrop-shaped republic has seen plenty of tears in recent years: the devastating 2004 tsunami26 years of civil war that ended in 2009, the Easter terrorist bombings in 2019, and severe economic crisis that toppled a president in 2022. This fall, Sri Lanka will hold its first presidential election since declaring bankruptcy two years ago. Pray for Christ’s hope and healing to fill and overflow from his Church in Sri Lanka for the leavening and blessing of society.

Nathanael is pursuing a PhD in Theology at the University of Birmingham (UK). His research investigates theological perspectives on humanity and their implications within South Asian contexts. Upon graduation, Nathanael will resume teaching at Colombo Theological Seminary (Sri Lanka), a partner institution of the Vital Sustainability Initiative. Nathanael is married to Skyler.
Nathanael shares the following message:

Currently, my wife and I reside in Birmingham, UK, as I pursue a PhD in Theology at the University of Birmingham. My research focuses on theological anthropology, exploring unique perspectives on concepts of the human person within South Asian contexts. My aim is to address growing anthropological concerns, particularly in the Sri Lankan context, which has faced various crises in recent years, including a severe one most recently.

Events such as the Easter attacks of 2019, the subsequent pandemic, and the economic and political crisis reaching its peak in 2022 have collectively contributed to the decline of the Sri Lankan economy and national morale. News reports depict long queues for essential resources, frequent power outages, and significant transportation limitations becoming a daily reality. Beyond the evident physical and financial challenges, there is a notable increase in psychological and mental health issues affecting both the young and old in Sri Lanka.

Market near Colombo, Sri Lanka by Eddy Billard (Unsplash)

Prayer Requests

Though there have been some positive developments, the journey to recovery remains long. Therefore, prayers are essential for the nation, the Church, and especially the vulnerable and needy who have borne the brunt of these challenges in Sri Lanka. 

I humbly request prayers for continued economic revitalization and for the tourism industry to pick up once again.

Pray for significant transformation in the political system, so that deep-seated corruption among leaders may be exposed and eliminated.

Pray for the upcoming election and for the rise of new and competent leaders capable of ushering in a new era of prosperity and positive change for Sri Lanka.

Pray for physical and relational healing as Sri Lanka confronts its tumultuous history and strives for renewed unity across ethnicities, religions, and languages.

Pray for the Church’s strength as it continues preaching and embodying the gospel, maintaining its role as a prophetic voice amid the challenges.

Nathanael Somanathan

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