Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Members of the Islamist extremist group Hefazat-e-Islam are accusing Christians and missionaries of forcibly converting people to Christianity. “Most Christian missionaries are converting people by offering money among the poor people to give them a leg-up,” said a spokesperson. “Once the poor people take money, the missionaries put pressure on them to be converted. That is why we are protesting – to stop missionaries converting [people].” Hefazat-e-Islam has been violently protesting in the streets of Dhaka, demanding a strict blasphemy law, resulting in death and injury to many. Their accusations, say Christians are mere propaganda. “Conversion is not an event in which missionaries give money and people are converted,” said a Reverend in Bangladesh.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
With the persecution of Christians increasing in Bangladesh the World Council of Churches has reached out to believers in the country to express solidarity.
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
In what is an alarming development for Christians in Bangladesh, radical Islamist groups have turned to violence in demonstrations demanding the passage of a new blasphemy law. Blasphemy laws are used in Islamic countries around the world to criminalize speaking against the Prophet Muhammad. These often ambigous laws then lead to the open persecution of religious minorities, including Christians. Christian groups in Bangladesh are praying ardently for change in the country, including the failure of any new blasphemy legislation being passed.
Monday, May 6th, 2013
Members of the extremist group, Hefajat-e-Islam marched through the streets of Dhaka yesterday continuing to demand a Blasphemy law in Bangladesh. They attacked the police with machetes in clashes between “hundreds of thousands of Islamists” and police. Twenty-two are dead and hundreds are injured. This Islamist group grew out of Islamic training centers, or madrassas, which are dispersed throughout the country.
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
More than 140 children have been rescued from Islamic training centers (madrassas) in the last nine months, with a majority of the children targeted because of their Christian faith. The females, accounting for nearly half of those rescued, report that they were used for forced labor and sex slavery.
Sunday, April 21st, 2013
Despite Bangladesh being a relatively tolerant Islamic nation, the poverty-stricken Christians in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) are facing persecution from their communities, neighbors, families and human traffickers.
Friday, April 19th, 2013
The recent spate of Christian children rescued from being sold into madrassas shows that low-income Christian families in Bangladesh are being targeted by human traffickers because of their faith and vulnerability.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Amid rising political conflict, Bangladeshi Christians are relying on the government to resist the demands of Islamists for the introduction of a new anti-blasphemy law that could inflame Christian persecution.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
As pressure from radical Islamist groups in Bangladesh increases, so does persecution against minority religious groups including Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. The World Council of Churches’ commission on international affairs sent a delegation to meet with persecuted groups who shared with them that they have been living in “nightmarish” conditions as non-Muslims.
Saturday, April 13th, 2013
With demands of Radical Muslims laid out in Bangladesh, and their ultimatum deadline approaching, Christians wonder what is next for Bangladesh. They say, “Their demands are against the religious rights which are enshrined in the Constitution…If they are met, the religious matrix of the country will be upside down and the country will be on the slippery slope towards hatred and confrontation like Pakistan.”
Friday, April 12th, 2013
As minorities, Christians in Bangladesh are routinely marginalized. The believers who are part of tribes in remote areas also suffer poverty and lack of education. This article shares some of what life is like for them, as well as the glimmers of hope that have been seen since the year 2000.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Young people in Bangladesh are against the “13-point demand” of radical Islamists, which in part demand a blasphemy law. In their march, a spokesperson said, “We would not remain silent . . .the new generation will resist attempts turn Bangladesh a Taliban state."
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Hefajat-e-Islam is an extremist Islamist group that is demanding a “blasphemy law with provisions for death penalty for people making derogatory remarks on Allah, Islam and the Quran.” Obviously, such a law would be detrimental for the country, specifically for religious minorities. The group is demanding this law if the government wants to stay in power. The next few weeks may prove to be very important for the future of Bangladesh.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Muslim extremists are demanding a new blasphemy law, and giving the Bangladeshi government three weeks to meet their demands. The Prime Minster, however, continues to say “no.” Let’s pray he does, because history shows us that blasphemy laws have produced nothing but persecution for Christians, and other religious minorities, in the countries in which they are enacted and enforced.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Raised as a Muslim, a young man discovers the love of Christ and chooses to get Baptized on Easter Sunday as a statement of his conversion. Bangladesh is nearly 90% Muslim, so such an action is in fact quite bold and daring.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Authorities in Bangladesh have a challenge in front of them to “crush” the newly discovered extremist group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT). They claim to be affiliated with al-Qaeda and have already wreaked havoc in the capital city, Dhaka. Members of the group were arrested for the murder of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider who spoke out against Islam. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said, "We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding religious extremism. Unfortunately, a section of the younger generation is being derailed with false promises."
Monday, April 8th, 2013
In a huge rally on Saturday, hundreds of thousands in attendance, Islamists in Dhaka demanded the execution of “atheist bloggers for allegedly defaming Islam.” Hefajat-e-Islam, an Islamic group supported by tens of thousands of seminaries demanded that a new blasphemy law be put into place in Bangladesh. The Prime Minister has said that there will be no such law. As it is, bloggers or “internet writers” can receive ten years in jail for defaming any religion.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
An extremist Muslim group called the Hefajat-e-Islam organization has been calling for a blasphemy law in Bangladesh. Members and supporters have rallied, protested and enforced a general strike in their demands. The Prime Minister, Shaikh Hasina has said that there are no plans to bring in a new blasphemy law because “we don’t need it.” Since the arrest and trials of Islamists charged with murdering an anti-Islamist blogger in January, “at least 96 people have been killed during protests.”
Friday, April 5th, 2013
ICC Note: Following the arrest of three bloggers who allegedly wrote “offensive comments about Islam,” the Bangladeshi government announced on April 2 that it has also constituted a cyber crime tribunal to outlaw websites that are critical of Islam, Gulf News reports. The government is also working to toughen laws to prevent the defamation of Islam. It appears that Bangladesh is following the lead of countries like Pakistan and Egypt where blasphemy laws are commonly enforced. More often than not, such laws do nothing more than embolden extremists to commit violent acts against minorities. Dozens of Christians in Pakistan and throughout the Middle East have been arrested on false allegations of blasphemy simply because of their religious minority status. The same will be true in Bangladesh if blasphemy laws are enacted.
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
With the recent arrest of bloggers for “insulted Islam” it is clear that the tide is turning, in a dangerous direction, in Bangladesh. Since February it is estimated that 100 people “have been killed in clashes” as Islamists gathered in the streets to demand blasphemy laws. Also, it is reported that “bloggers, journalists and passers-by have been beaten and hacked to death.” There is great concern for all citizens of Bangladesh, particularly religious minorities, if the radicals are permitted to continue down this path of violence and extremism.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
We all know what damage blasphemy laws have done to Christians in Pakistan, Egypt and other countries where Islam is a majority and Christianity a minority. While there is currently no blasphemy law in Bangladesh, never-the-less authorities in Dhaka have arrested three bloggers for “offensive comments about Islam.” If this trend continues Christians, already a minority and poorly treated in Bangladesh, will see the level of persecution they experience rise dramatically.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
International Christian Concern has learned that 11 of the 16 Christian children who were rescued from Muslim traffickers in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 2 have again gone missing. Sources in the Christian community, as well as reports in local newspapers, report that they believe the children were re-trafficked and taken to madrassas, Islamic training centers, where they will likely be forced to convert to Islam and study the Quran.
Friday, March 8th, 2013
Jamaat-e-islami continues its attempt to oust the Bangladeshi government and call for a "pure" state, free of the non-Muslim population, Asia News reports. 87 people have been killed in the past week and religious minorities, mainly Hindus, continue to be attacked. Earlier this week, ICC received reports that Christians are also being threatened. Fears are growing among all non-Muslims in the country, including Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, and tribal communities, while Islamists are demanding to reunify with Pakistan.
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that 19 children, who were to be sold to fundamentalist Islamic boarding schools (madrassas), have been rescued. Traffickers lied to the children’s parents, saying they would take the children to Christian boarding schools in Dhaka, when in fact, they were intending to sell the children to various madrassas. Students from Dhaka University discovered the children and rescued them. This is not the first instance of Christian children being trafficked to madrassas, as upwards of 150 children have been rescued from similar situations since July 2012.
Saturday, January 12th, 2013
Christians in Bangladesh are a small minority, less than 1% in a 90% Muslim country. Due to this, they are often taken advantage of, forcibly converted to Islam (through marriage and other means), and struggle to keep their land.
Friday, January 4th, 2013
When Mark Huda Junayed’s step-mother found out he’d converted from Islam to Christianity, she had him abducted and forced him to marry a Muslim woman, 20 years his senior, in an Islamic ceremony. Accused of “torturing” his bride by refusing to pay the dowry, Junayed remains in hiding as he awaits his trial. “A former Muslim, [he] views his trial as part of a wider crackdown by Islamists on minority Christians, who comprise less than 1 percent of the country's mainly Muslim population of over 150 million people.”
Monday, December 10th, 2012
This article summarizes cases of both victory and worry for Christians in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh. While some are celebrating success this week, such as pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov who was released from prison, others, such as a Christian family in Bangladesh “falsely” accused of human trafficking, are still concerned for their future.
Friday, December 7th, 2012
A Christian family in Bangladesh claim that local Muslims are blackmailing them and that they have been sent to court over false charges of human trafficking. “Junayed, a former Muslim, said it was part of a wider crackdown by Islamists on minority Christians, who comprise less than 1 percent of the country's mainly Muslim population of over 150 million people.” The family is accused of abducting and selling their 14-year old house maid.
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
It seems religious minorities in Bangladesh (Christians, Hindus and Buddhists) are being undercounted by the population census. Christians currently account for less than 1% of the population. If they are undercounted they will not be eligible to vote in upcoming elections.