A leading bishop in Bangladesh’s capital city, Dhaka, is warning Christians that fanatical Islamic groups are killing any people they deem to be non-believers.
“We are aware, concerned, but not alarmed. Fanatical groups are spreading death, but we hope that the government can control them. The pastoral and social activities of the Church continues,” Mgr. Theotonius Gomes, the Bishop Emeritus of Dhaka, told Fides News Agency in a report on Tuesday.
Islamic radicals in Bangladesh have publicly targeted atheist writers and bloggers over the past few years, with extremists reportedly operating on a list of targets they claim have insulted Islam in online postings.
Persecution watchdog groups such as Amnesty International have accused the Bangladesh government of not doing enough to protect non-Islamic minorities in the country.
Bishop Gomes told Fides that the situation in Bangladesh is complex, with local Islamic extremist groups seemingly inspired by the Islamic State (ISIL).
“We proceed cautiously and carefully, we are aware of the situation, but our pastoral, educational, social activities continue,” he insisted, noting that Christianity is barely a 1 percent minority in the country.
Mohammed Shahriar Alam, state minister for foreign affairs, denied that ISIL is growing in Bangladesh, but admitted that there are home grown extremist cells.
“There is an effort by a group of people in different parts of the country — probably being supported from foreign lands — to destabilise Bangladesh,” Alam said earlier this year. “We are not immune to what is happening in the rest of the world. But the government is determined not to allow them to succeed.”
- Pray for Bangladesh, traditionally a place of tolerance towards religious minorities. Pray that the government will have both the will and the means to challenge the Islamic extremists, and to retain freedom of worship, without fear, for all people.
- Pray for Bangladesh’s Christians, as they make up such a small minority of the population. Pray for their protection, and for courage to live out their faith in their homes and communities even with the threat of persecution.
- Pray for the Bangladesh church to thrive and grow in maturity and numbers. Pray for good training for leaders and resources for discipleship of new believers.
- Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit across Bangladesh, for many to hear, to see and to put their trust in the Living Lord Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 41 vs 13: “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’“
Source: http://www.christianpost.com/news, http://www.persecution.org/2016