President Abdul Hamid
Bangladeshi Christians who have converted from a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or tribal background suffer the most severe restrictions, discrimination and attacks. They often gather in small house churches or meet secretly in groups due to fear of attack.
Tribal Christians, like those from the Santal people group, are doubly vulnerable to persecution (as they belong to both an ethnic and religious minority), and are often the victims of land-grabbing or targeted violence.
Other churches are frequently threatened, watched and, at times, violently attacked.
“We have been enduring and praying for God to protect us.”
Pastor Swapan’s church (which is also an orphanage) was viciously attacked during the night by Hindu extremists
Attacks against church buildings have continued across Bangladesh—and the authorities frequently ignore complaints when Christians bring them. Bangladesh has risen significantly on the World Watch List in the past few years, and violence is increasing.
Christians don’t just face persecution from Islamic extremists in Bangladesh, but also from militants belonging to other faiths. Bangladesh’s northern region and Chittagong Hill Tracts are often overlooked hotspots for persecution against Christians at the hands of both the Muslim majority and the Buddhist minority.
The arrival of 700,000 Rohingya refugees from neighboring Myanmar in the past four years has led to thousands of people living in refugee camps, and repatriation or integration efforts have constantly stalled. There is a large risk of Islamic radicalization in these camps, which is concerning for Christians living in them, as well as the wider community.