On 5th November, around half a dozen Muslims attempted to lock four Christian families in their homes in the village of Kamarpara, in northern Bangladesh. They then set the houses alight, but neighbours helped the families escape in time to save their lives.
“It was midnight when we heard the noise of the fire and the smell of smoke,” said survivor Ramni Das. “They wanted to kill us by burning us alive, but we managed to escape.”
Like many of Bangladesh’s Christians, the families live in deep poverty. “We lost everything,” said Ramni Das. “There is nothing left in our house, everything was burned.”
Muslims accused the Christians of witchcraft, but according to Ramni Das, the real motive behind the attacks was to take possession of the Christians’ land. In a similar incident in October, a mob of around 100 Muslims forced a Christian family from their home in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, while the police stood by and watched.
Last week’s attacks are the latest to occur in a year of targeted persecution against Christians.
“For more than a year, Muslim youths from a neighbouring village accused us of practising witchcraft and told us to leave the village,” said Ramni Das. “They abused us in public and threw bricks at our houses.”
Despite the fact that he has filed a complaint with police, no arrests have yet been made.
Bangladeshi Christians make up just 1% of a population that is 90% Muslim, making them easy targets for persecution. In addition to violence, they face social and economic difficulties due to marginalisation and poverty.
- Pray for Christians in Bangladesh, for protection over them, their families and properties.
- As Islamic fundamentalism grows stronger in Bangladesh, pray that they government will put in place legal protection for Christians and that police will seek to also protect them.
- Pray for peace on the streets of Bangladesh.
- Pray that those who target Christians for persecution will come face to face with the living Christ Jesus and come to know His truth and grace for themselves.
Isaiah 43 vs 2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”