In Muslim-dominated Bangladesh, when a Muslim man accepts Christ the wife usually follows. However, many of these women follow their husbands for the sake of obedience without understanding the essence of the Christian faith.
In a country where religious persecution often takes place, and is sometimes directed at women, the new believers need to grasp the beauty and uniqueness of their faith before they can testify of Christ’s love and stand firm when persecution hits.
“I’ve been a Christian for years and even attended Bible college with my husband, but I never really took advantage of the opportunity to learn the Word of God,” says Hosneara, a 35-year-old A Christian from a Muslim background who comes to Christ. (MBB).
Hosneara is a typical MBB woman in Bangladesh who, like many others, simply followed her husband when he became a Christian. As a result, they have little knowledge of the Scripture, Christ, and salvation. That prevents them from blossoming into godly women.
Women make up almost half of the country’s population and 70 percent are an essential part of the workforce, contributing to their family’s livelihood and the nation’s economy.
However, more than 80 percent of them live in rural areas. “Many MBB women cannot read as they’ve never gone to school,” explains an Open Doors’ training coordinator. “Some of those who can read only study the Scriptures once a week at a house church service. That is not enough to nurture their young faith.”
Just imagine the kind of testimonies and influence these believers could have if they blossom in their faith, shining forth Christ’s beauty and light in their communities.
To realize this vision, Open Doors holds a three-year discipleship course for MBB women. The training is called Annona, which means “unique” in the local language. “We are grooming women so they will exhibit their faith in their family, church and community lives,” the coordinator continues. “By being beautiful for Christ in their speech, attitude and deeds, they will be deemed unique by the rest of the society, thus attracting more souls to Him.”
In this training, 20 to 30 participants learn about basic Christian doctrines such as salvation, the lordship of Christ, how to study the Bible, prayer, fellowship, praise and worship and bearing witness. In addition, they explore topics such as godly living, women’s participation in church and leadership and becoming beautiful for God.
“I’m so happy to be part of this training. I discovered God’s love for me as a woman,” says Hosneara after the course. “I learned that I’m an important person who God created with utmost care and love. I also learned that the way I talk, act or think declares who I am. From now on, I resolve to be kind and generous to my children and other people.”
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.