Colombo, Sri Lanka: Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray Speak on "The Search For Significance" at Open Forum
On Saturday, July 7, Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray teamed up for an open forum in Colombo, the commercial capital and largest city in Sri Lanka. The theme was “The Search For Significance,” and both speakers addressed key ideas related to the identity and individuality of human beings as made in the image of God, the quest for meaning and purpose in life beyond material success, and the reality of suffering and evil in the world. Several different churches came together to host the city-wide event at People’s Church Assemblies of God, and around 3,000 people from a cross-section of Sri Lankan society attended.
Audience members submitted questions through a digital platform and voted on which ones they most wanted addressed. The question that received the highest amount of votes was, “Must I believe in God even if I feel that I have found happiness and purpose in myself and pursuing my own passion?” Other questions included, “If God created the universe who created God?" and “Does God have favorites? What if we compare the way He has treated people in different ways?”
“Ravi and Abdu handled the Q&A brilliantly with the anointing of the Holy Spirit,” remarked Pratish Raj, RZIM India team member who helped organize the event.
“Sri Lanka is a beautiful culture steeped in religious tradition, as evidenced by the many Buddha statues that greeted us at the airport,” remarked Murray on his first visit to the island.
“On Saturday night, we were pleased to see the venue for our open forum packed despite the heat and lack of air conditioning. I had the privilege of joining Ravi to answer questions, which came in droves. The sophistication level of the questions stood out as they ranged from religious differences, to atheism, to sexuality. The audience was locked in, showing us that people’s hunger for substantive answers exceeded their desire for physical comfort.”
In addition to the public open forum, Zacharias spoke at a Business Leaders Breakfast in Colombo on Monday, July 9, the final gathering in this five-day series of events in Sri Lanka for the RZIM team. Around 160 individuals from a broad spectrum of worldviews and belief systems attended as they had been invited by a few Christian corporate and business heads.
“Sri Lanka’s cream of the society—from academia, business and finance, military and government, and arts and media—attended this unique gathering,” explained Raj. “The total expenses of the event were met by the Christians who bought tickets for each of their friends. It was truly exciting to the see the ballroom filled with these influential leaders early on a Monday morning.”
Please continue to pray for RZIM's ministry in South Asia, and specifically for the efforts in India and Sri Lanka as host churches and leaders follow up with those who attended each of these events. God continues to open doors for the global team to reach influencers in this region and commend the message of the gospel in a vast array of strategic settings.