03/04/2022 Bangladesh (International Christian Concern) – Mission Network News reported recently that the international evangelical group Asian Access is working in Bangladesh, despite persecution from the majority Muslim population. Asian Access works to develop Christian communities and multiply the number of believers in Asia. This noble task is made difficult by the Islamic groups who are intransigent in their beliefs and persecute the Christians that exist in the country. The director of the mission says the constitution of Bangladesh protects the rights of religious minorities, and yet “over the last three years, 11,300 Christians have been displaced from their houses. Fundamentalist groups will even burn the houses.”
The police who are meant to protect the citizens are bystanders to the persecution of the fledgling Christian community. The director explained to MNN that this behavior is not surprising, “This is a common phenomenon. When people come to the Lord out of the Muslim majority background, they are not welcomed. And they are just kicked out from their families.” There is no peace in the refugee camps either. In the Cox Bazar camp of over a million refugees, only 62 have been identified as Christians. “They like to worship in their camp, but it is really tough. Some people burned their camp houses.” There may be more Christians in the camp, but due to the relentless persecution, including violence and arson, it is safer for them to keep their faith hidden.
Even in the face of danger, Asian Access continues to foster the Christian community in Bangladesh. The Director explains how accepting Jesus is only the beginning for these new believers, and their faith needs to be nurtured. “We train new believers from Hindu and Buddhist backgrounds, including their children. We do Sunday School. We teach them from the Bible. They memorize the stories and perform dramas.” We pray for the success of Asian Access and the resilience of new Christians.
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