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Bangladesh Facts

Score: 58 / 100
Region: Asia
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: High
Population: 164,828,000
Christians: 866,000
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Leader: President Abdul Hamid

Profile of Persecution Methodology

Violence 63%
Church Life 45%
National Life 57%
Community Life 68%
Family Life 53%
Private Life 62%

Where Persecution Comes From

In Bangladesh, growing numbers of Christian converts from Islam are facing increasing restrictions and persecution. Radical Islamic groups, local religious leaders and families all play a role in this Christian persecution. Fatwas (specific interpretations of Islamic law) dictate daily life all over the country, especially in rural areas. There is also a strong push to implement Sharia law (Islamic law) to show that the country belongs to the “House of Islam,” and local government officials continue to hinder religious expression for Christians. Atrocities by the Islamic State (IS) are also on the rise, usually targeting “free thinkers,” converts and minority religious groups, including Christians.

How Christians are Suffering

Christian converts from Muslim, Hindu or ethnic and tribal backgrounds suffer the most severe persecution for their faith in Bangladesh. To protect themselves against attack, they often gather in house churches or secret small groups. Evangelical churches that work among the Muslim majority face attacks and death threats, and historical churches like the Roman Catholic Church are sometimes targeted as well. Tribal Christians are doubly at risk due to their status as ethnic and religious minorities, experiencing persecution in the form of land seizures and violence.

Examples

After converting to Christianity, former Muslims are frequently hindered from accessing community resources because of their faith.

In schools, Christian children are forced to use Islamic textbooks, which are distributed by the government.

In November 2016, more than two dozen priests and aid workers reported receiving death threats. Just a month before, three Roman Catholic priests reported that they had narrowly escaped assassination attempts.

Pray for Bangladesh

  • Pray that God would strengthen the faith of Christians in the country, especially secret believers, so that they might endure persecution and not compromise their faith. Also pray for ongoing projects to reach believers in need and assist them with timely help.
  • Pray with Christians who have left their communities out of pressure to renounce their faith. Pray that the Lord would provide for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Pray with tribal Christians who are at risk of persecution from two sides. Pray for their safety and courage to stand boldly for the gospel in their communities.

Stories from Bangladesh

January 10, 2018

The 4 Major Trends Influencing Global Christian Persecution

World Watch List research indicates these growing movements are the life-altering forces influencing the persecution of Christians around the world.

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December 1, 2017

Bangladesh: Catholic Priest Missing as Pope Francis Arrives

Pope Francis has arrived in Bangladesh, where a Catholic priest disappeared three days ago.

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August 10, 2017

Visit to Bangladesh and the Widow of Deceased Open Doors Staff Member

Recently in Bangladesh, Open Doors (OD) staff visited the widow of a former staff member who died of illness two…

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