Bangladesh (MNN) — Local authorities in Bangladesh attacked and beat eight Christians on their way to a baptism class, led by an FMI church planter. Four of them had to be taken to the hospital. The others recovered at home.
Bruce Allen says these eight believers recently converted from Buddhism to Christianity. “In this community, even though Bangladesh is the third-largest Muslim majority nation, [the attackers] were an enclave of Buddhists, actually. They are a minority in Bangladesh, but they can get pretty militant. When these former Buddhists were making a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ, that really riled up the other members of their tribal community.”
The attack happened in December – local churches love to baptize during the Christmas season. Now, the assailants have begun threatening the FMI church planter as well.
This shows how most Christians in Bangladesh and around the world experience persecution. Their family or community members often see following Jesus as a betrayal of ethnic and religious identity.
How to pray
Allen says, “We do need to remember and just support in prayer the leaders of those people. Pray they would know how to care for them in the midst of persecution. Pray for the people who have been persecuted, that God touches their bodies and restores their health. And pray he would also give a balm to their spirit.”
Despite the persecution, Allen says these believers still plan on being baptized. The pastor has sent a deacon to continue discipling them as they recover from their injuries. Pray also that more permanent churches would be planted in Bangladesh.
The header photo shows Pastor Pratapgarh, the FMI church-planter, standing with one of the attack victims. (Photo courtesy of FMI)