Extremist Islamic groups in Bangladesh have killed two bloggers in recent months, claiming responsibility after the murders. The writers, Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das, were atheists and strongly condemned the use of violence in Islam in their publications, thus enraging the Islamists.
The incident shows an increasing use of extremist religious violence among the world’s fourth largest Muslim population. Last month a A Christian from a Muslim background who comes to Christ. (MBB) was abused and killed by her angry relatives and neighbors for helping other MBBs. Last year a cabinet minister was imprisoned because of his anti-Islamic remarks, and a university professor was killed for speaking against the use of burkas by female students for pragmatic and not spiritual reasons.
Unfortunately, the government of Bangladesh is slow to take action against the perpetrators and in curbing Islamic extremism.
Because of these developments, the local Church needs to practice more caution in its ministry.
A local Christian pastor shared: “These are signs of the anti-Christ of the Bible—those who will rise at the end of this world. Jesus’ second coming is near: we need to be ready and reach all the unreached people of this country. While we need to be careful about the fundamentalists, we should not stop the work of God. We need to be careful in every step as the Bible instructed; being shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves (Mat. 10:16).”
Bangladesh is ranked 43rd on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians. The country has a population of 160 million with 1.2 million Christians and 146 million followers of Islam.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.