Bangladesh: the growing Church
Bangladesh stands among the world’s poorest nations, but the Bangladeshi Church reports a rich resurgence of faith.
The Christian community continues to play a major role in the development of the country, as well as the protection of human rights, according to Ecumenical News. Church leaders from all denominations seek unity to reach their country with the Gospel.
The Bangladesh Assembly of God, just one example of a denomination experiencing growth, reports an increased missional drive. The denomination held a mission conference to support local missionaries last month. Christian Believers began ministries to drug addicts, convicts, children living in the slums, and radio listeners. They also support overseas missionaries, mainly going to other Asian nations. Along with this fervor has come persecution, but also dramatic healings and forgiveness of their Muslim persecutors.
The Bangladeshi Church is growing, although they make up less than one percent of Bangladesh’s population of 166 million. Around 87 percent are Muslim, while Hinduism claims 11 percent.
Last year, the Muslim community attempted to beat down and stamp out a Christian presence. World Watch Monitor reports that Christian persecution grew in 2013. Bangladesh earned a rating of 48 on this year’s Open Doors World Watch List that monitors Christian persecution. This is due “primarily because of a new Islamic extremist group demanding the imposition of sharia, or Islamic law,” said the monitor group.
Bangladeshis have religious freedom according to national law. Pressure from the Muslim community remains strong. In July, a mob of 50 Muslim robbers attacked a Catholic Church, stealing thousands of dollars. Late last year, a vigilante group halted construction on a Church. They threatened to harm new Believers who refused to return to Islam. Muslims there accused Christians of misguiding “naive people.” Altogether, 8 of 20 reconverted to Islam.
PRAY that the Church continues in unity and practices forgiveness (The Bible, Ephesians 4:2-4).
PRAY that Christian ministries will bear fruit in the land (The Bible, Ezekiel 17:23).
PRAY for the Holy Spirit to open the eyes and ears of Muslims to the Truth of Jesus Christ as they associate with Christian Believers (The Bible, Isaiah 35:4-6).
PRAY for Believers who face persecution. Pray they are strong in the Lord in the power of His might. Pray they will not deny Jesus Christ as the Lord and savior even in the face of persecution (The Bible, 1 Corinthians 4:11-13).