Sinhalese in Malaysia

Unreached of the Day  2/07/2021

Sinhalese in Malaysia

Sinhalese, mainly jewel merchants, began migrating to Malaysia as early as 1890. Many of these early Sinhalese immigrants returned to Sri Lanka after earning enough money. Today, there are less than 800 families bearing Sinhalese names living in Malaysia. With the number of mixed marriages with Indians and other Malaysian communities, the number of Sinhalese continues to decrease in Malaysia. The majority of Sinhalese prefer to use English and Malay despite efforts of the older generation to maintain their mother tongue. With the exception of ceremonial functions, Western clothing is becoming the norm among Sinhalese in Malaysia.

Ministry Obstacles

The majority of Sinhalese in Malaysia are Theravada Buddhist and the temple is the focal point of their social and religious activities. To turn away from the Buddhist religious system to most of them means turning away from their community.

Outreach Ideas

There are Sinhalese believers in Malaysia who can reach their Buddhist neighbors. They can use Sinhalese language music and drama as a way to present the life of Christ in a familiar form.

Scripture Focus

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."  Psalm 16:11

Scripture Prayer

Pray that many from today’s people group will find joy in the Lord, and the pleasures of being with Him for eternity.

Prayer Focus

Pray that Sinhalese believers would be filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit so they can be prepared to share him with others. Pray for spiritual openness to Jesus Christ on the part of Sinhalese Buddhists. Pray that Malaysia would become a central point for a Sinhalese movement to Christ this decade.



People Name Sinhalese
Pronunciationsin-uh-LEEZE
Country Malaysia
10/40 Window Yes
Population 4,400
World Population 436,300
Language Sinhala
Primary Religion Buddhism
Bible Complete
Online Audio NT No
Jesus Film Yes
Audio Recordings Yes
Christ Followers Few, less than 2%
Status Unreached
Progress Level: progress level image