Church leader still missing after attack in Bangladesh—pray with Rohingya believers

March 11, 2020 by Lindy Lowry in Asia

Our field is reporting that one of the church leaders abducted in an attack on Rohingya believers in a refugee camp is still missing—more than a month later.

In January, Open Doors reported that on Monday morning, January 27, a mob of hundreds of people attacked believers and looted their homes. Eighteen homes and a house church building were destroyed. Some believers were so badly beaten they had to be hospitalized.

A local partner of Open Doors shared that the believers, who are now living inside a UN refugee transit camp, are becoming increasingly frustrated and need prayer support.

The 84 believers, from 22 families, are forced to stay in a small enclosure with no privacy.

As the rest of the Rohingya believers see the persecution and the victims’ situation, panic is growing among them. Because they are such a small population among the primarily Muslim Rohingya, Christians are afraid to practice their faith openly.

Learn why Bangladesh is No. 38 on the World Watch List. 

Who are the Rohingya?

The Rohingya are one of many ethnic minorities from Myanmar, which borders Bangladesh. They are mostly Muslims and have their own language and culture. But while we can’t disclose specific details, our partners tell us that increasing numbers of Rohingya refugees are turning to Jesus.

In August 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled from bordering country Myanmar across Bangladesh’s borders, attempting to escape a military offensive the United Nations later described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
Traumatized, they poured across the border, by sea and by foot.

Rohingyas arriving in Bangladesh said they fled after troops, backed by local Buddhist mobs, responded by burning their villages and attacking and killing civilians.

Learn why Myanmar is No. 19 on the World Watch List.

Today, there are hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. According to UNHCR, Kutupalong is the largest refugee settlement in the world, home to more than 600,000 refugees alone.

*representative photo used for security reasons.

Praying with Rohingya believers

Please continue to pray for the safety and health of this missing church leader. Pray for his wife, who is waiting for his safe return.

Pray that authorities will take quick action to relocate the 22 families to a safe place where they can practice their faith freely.

Pray all the Rohingya believers will stay strong in their faith and continue to trust God to provide a solution.

Pray that more Rohingya will turn from Islam and come to know Jesus through watching and listening to the persecuted believers around them.

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