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BosNewsLife – A Christian human rights group said Monday, October 10, it has set up a “safe-house” for Muslim converts to Christianity in Bangladesh , amid reports of growing persecution of religious minorities in the impoverished Asian nation.

Christian Freedom International (CFI), a US religious rights group helping persecuted Christians, said 22-year old Abdul Gafur is among those staying at the “safe-house” at an undisclosed location outside Dhaka , studying to become a pastor.

“I have to hide from my relatives,” said Abdul, who allegedly converted to Christianity two years ago, in remarks published by CFI. “They are so unhappy that I have converted [and] tried to beat me. My uncle is a powerful leader in [the] Muslim society. They forbid me to go to my village saying they will kill me if I come back,” Abdul was quoted as saying.

The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately established, but CFI is known to have close contacts with persecuted Christians in South East Asia . CFI investigators said his conversion has come with a price as he has lost his inheritance and contacts with his family.

“I have lost my home [and] I cannot go back to my village. I have lost my family. I have lost everything. The only thing I get is from Christian Freedom International. I now get a place to live, food, and shelter,” he reportedly said.

“I don’t hate my family, even though they hate me,” he added, but “I feel sorry for them because they don’t know what they do.” Abdul said he wanted to training “to serve the Lord’s Kingdom, to spread the Lord’s Kingdom here in Bangladesh . I want to help my relatives. I want them to know the Lord Jesus Christ.”

However “I don’t hate my family, even though they hate me, I feel sorry for them because they don’t know what they do.” He urged Christians to “pray for us, we don’t want to be forgotten.” CFI said this was not an isolated incident and it urged the government of Bangladesh “to protect the rights of religious minorities” in the country.

“The persecution of Christians in Bangladesh , especially Muslim converts to Christianity, is getting worse…,” claimed CFI President Jim Jacobson, a former White House official. “It is very disturbing and frankly shocking to see this happening in Bangladesh ,” he said. Officials have not yet reacted to the latest claims.

Christians comprise less than 1 percent of the country’s mainly Muslim population of roughly 142-million people, according to US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates.