The beginnings of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance Sri Lanka (NCEASL) span back to 1952 when it was known as the Evangelical Fellowship of Ceylon. Today, the NCEASL has a membership of 200 churches and organisations and represents over 200,000 Evangelical Christians in Sri Lanka. The NCEASL has evolved to be an identity to the Church, bring good news to the poor, freedom to the captives, healing for the wounded and a voice for the voiceless and marginalised of Sri Lanka.
The NCEASL bears the vision of ‘Unifying the Church to Transform the Nation’ through three broad commissions – Missions and Evangelism, Religious Liberty and Relief and Development. They all share a common vision of equipping the National Church, advocating for justice and peace and building resilient communities.
The NCEASL equips the National Church through training and empowering pastors and ministry workers to reach out to those who have not received the Gospel. Towards this goal, the Missions and Evangelism Commission supports pioneer mission workers who are committed to work with unreached groups and provide pastors with training, literature and financial support for theological education. The Missions and Evangelism Commission also supports vulnerable Christian communities, reaching out to them in times of need, encouraging them in their ministry and supporting them with livelihood grants. The commission also provides help during natural disasters, educational support for pastors’ children and assistance in emergency situations.
In 1995, the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) was established to facilitate religious co-existence and safeguard religious freedom in Sri Lanka. The RLC is committed to protect minority and individual rights while lobbying and advocating for the implementation of religious rights. Through its advocacy efforts, the RLC engages with the state and other key partners including international commissions and lobbies with other research partners on the issues of religious freedom. Among its many services, the RLC provides free legal services to Christian victims of harassment whilst equipping and engaging with local communities through awareness programmes on religious freedom and human rights. The RLC is also committed to build and support pastoral and Christian victims of harassment and persecution, offering them financial and legal support, practical assistance and emergency relief as well as scholarships for children of pastors and full-time ministry workers who are affected by persecution.
The relief and development arm of the NCEASL – the Alliance Development Trust (ADT) – reaches out to a broad group of marginalised communities from all parts of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their race, caste or creed and works through its community-based sectors of Relief Assistance, Development Education, Sustainable Livelihood, Child Participation and Development and Health. The various development projects conducted by the ADT equip religious leaders, elders, youth and children to be catalysts of change in their communities. Through these sectors, the poor and vulnerable are rehabilitated, supported and empowered to transform their lives through long-term and sustainable assistance.
The Sanctuary House Retreat and Training Centre (SH), serves the Christian community; it is a popular venue among the National Church and the wider community. The SH is importantly a retreat centre as it offers to equip and build the Persecuted Church and is also a training centre for mission workers.
The Business Development Unit (BDU) of the NCEASL empowers, equips and builds the lives of underprivileged persons especially war widows and differently-abled persons who are supported through grants and long-term assistance to begin self-employment ventures.