Recently, an Open Doors team met with one of the families Open Doors supports in northeast Bangladesh (#48 on the World Watch List) with vocational training for the family’s father, Pana-Ulla. They are the only Christians in their village. Pana-Ulla, shared a recent heartbreaking story about his 7-year-old son, Imran, and asked Christians to pray with them. Imran is one of the littlest victims of persecution’s far-reaching impact.
Being the only Christians in their Muslim-dominant village of Ilsa in Sherpur District, Pana-Ulla’s family is often discriminated against for their decision to follow Jesus.
“Nobody like us because we follow Jesus Christ,” says Pana-Ulla. “People [the Muslim villagers] always mistreat us, even over simple issues. In any quarrel, the villagers will always stand against us.”
The attack on his son stems from this mistreatment. Pana-Ulla share the events of the day: In late May, Imran caught four boys picking and eating lychees from his family’s trees without permission. The young boy told the teens to stop, his father says. At that point, Zihad, 15, one of the four boys, began to angrily mock Imran for being a Christian. Then Zihad went further than words picked up a stone. He threw it at the boy, eight years younger than him.
“I will make your eyes blind,” he shouted, hurling the rock with intention.
The stone struck Imran’s left eye. Pana-Ulla describes what happened next: “Hearing his cry, my wife rushed over and found my son’s eye bleeding.”
Imran’s parents rushed their son to the local hospital and soon learned he would need an eye operation. Open Doors has committed to providing support for Imran’s eye treatment.
Pray with Imran and his family
- Pray for Imran’s eye treatment to go well. Pray for a miraculous healing that he will be able to see again–so that they can testify to others about Christ as the healer and provider of everything.
- Pray for the Pana-Ulla and his family. Ask God to give them the strength to not seek vengeance but instead show kindness and forgiveness,
- Pray for the villagers, especially the teenagers, that they will be convicted of what they have done and seek forgiveness from the family.
- Pray with the church in Bangladesh over the next generation–that many will come to know Christ and be strong enough to turn from Islam and live for Jesus.
top photo: representative image used for security