Approximately 4 months ago, 2 Christian pastors were arrested in Bangladesh on charges of proselytising amongst Muslims, a charge, that if found guilty, will see them spend up to 2 years in prison for violating the country’s religious freedom laws.
While in Bangladesh, Christians are generally respected and free to worship, Islam is the official religion and it is illegal to proselytise. These arrests were made with allegations of luring Muslims to convert to Christianity with the promise of money or jobs. The 2 pastors vehemently deny this, saying that those who converted did so because of the teaching of the Bible and the good they saw in Christianity.
They are defending their right to religious freedom under Bangladesh’s constitution, and allege that the complaints against them were brought by a man who hates Christians and was seeking to provoke local Muslims to anger with fabricated stories about them.
With the case still ongoing, many Muslims who converted to Christianity have reverted back to Islam, in fear of reprisals against them from the Muslim community. Christians are also living in fear, with one Christian villager saying “I know Muslims are saying bad words against me and my family because we have left Islam to become Christians. We are happy to be Christians, but now we are concerned for our safety.”
- Pray for the pastors facing trial for proselytism. Pray that truth will prevail over anger.
- Pray for tensions to ease between Muslims and Christians in Bangladesh, especially in the north where this case is ongoing.
- Pray for those who seek to cause trouble between Christians and Muslims, to come to see the light of the truth of the Gospel for themselves.
- Pray for courage and protection for Bangladesh Christians, and for their lives to be a witness to the Grace and Goodness of God in their communities.
1 John 4 vs 18: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear“