Bangladesh (MNN) — A foreign minister of Bangladesh says the country has been left alone to help 1 million Rohingya refugees. International funding to help the refugees has decreased every year.
The Rohingya fled Myanmar after being attacked by the military.
Greg Kelley with World Mission says, “They truly are a stateless people group, which makes the situation all the more tragic. Because the likelihood of them getting back into Myanmar is very low. Bangladesh doesn’t want them growing and has shut off the numbers of officially recognized refugees.”
“Meanwhile, babies continue to come out of these camps and the population of Rohingya is growing exponentially.”
Kelley says the government of Bangladesh keeps the Rohingya separate from the rest of the population on a little peninsula near the Bay of Bengal. “It’s like two roads that get out of there. There are checkpoints all over the place. We went through about 10 checkpoints to get anywhere near the camp.”
World Mission works among the Rohingya, giving them humanitarian relief and solar-powered audio Bibles.
They have seen many Rohingya get baptized in the nearby Bay of Bengal. Kelley says, “We did the secret baptism service where we came from one direction, and they came from another. We met secretly on the beaches. They ran out one by one and were baptized.”
But afterward, they all had to sneak away. Kelley says, “We couldn’t celebrate with them after the fact. And it’s because they’re persecuted.” Most Rohingya in the camps practice Islam.
Ask God to strengthen these new believers. World Mission is setting up a training center in southern Bangladesh to train church leaders among the Rohingya and other people groups.
The header photo shows the refugee camp where many Rohingya live. (Photo courtesy of Maaz Hussain (VOA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)