Chakma Christians not wanted

By January 23, 2015

The Chakma Christians
(Photo courtesy of Forgotten Ministries International)

Bangladesh (MNN) — There’s a tribe in Bangladesh whose theme is isolation. Holding strongly onto Buddhism, the Chakma people have violently separated themselves from the otherwise Muslim-dominant country. But what happens when one of their own opens up their heart to the saving truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection?

This tiny restricted area–part of the Iowa-sized country of Bangladesh–cannot be accessed without special government permission. It’s impossible for a foreign missionary to have any sort of effective ministry there. Therefore, it’s a perfect area of ministry for Forgotten Missionaries International.

“We don’t send people from here to become missionaries there. We are empowering the local believers, the national indigenous believers, to do the church planting, the evangelism, to own the ministry of church leadership,” says Bruce Allen of FMI.

He shares an important prayer need for a congregation of Christians in one Chakma village.

One of the church planters who has outreaches to three different villages was approached by the tribal leaders of his primary village.

Allen explains, “The village leaders, just days ago, told the Christians that they needed to leave the village: they were no longer welcome. This congregation is part of the Chakma tribe which is a little bit of an anomaly in Bangladesh.”

Again, the Chakma people are Buddhist while Bangladesh exists as the third-largest Muslim-dominant country in the world.

Despite their steep history of Buddhism (catch up on the Chakma background here), there has been a great movement in the last few years.

“The Gospel had come into several Chakma villages and [is] changing the villages,” Allen says.

Late last year, village leaders interrupted a baptism (Photo courtesy of FMI)

Late last year, village leaders interrupted a baptism.
(Photo courtesy of FMI)

This transformation causes village leaders to feel threatened. They, in turn, are threatening the future of a 40-member strong congregation.

At best, the church will be sort of socially ex-communicated, as Allen puts it. They’ll have to find a new place that will welcome them. But even to visit another village is a three-hour hike. And it’s hard to believe another village will accept these Christians, judging by their already tense relations with the Muslim government.

The pastor is not being deterred by this request, however. While he remains respectful in how he approaches leadership, his passion to teach others about Jesus is not quenched to any degree.

If you’ve been walking with God for a while, you know it’s easy to get discouraged without much support for what you’re doing. Can you take a moment to consider how you could help encourage this pastor in Bangladesh?

Let’s start with financial giving. Here are several options:

– You can help provide Bibles and hymnals in the Chakma language, and other evangelistic literature as well.

– Another way to help is to contribute to the National Pastors fund with FMI. An upcoming conference still needs to be covered financially.

– Finally, your church can help support a church planter. Three more church planters have been approved in Bangladesh. Their sponsorship is $100 a month.

Photo by FMI.

(Photo by FMI)

Click here to see a full list of options for supporting FMI.

Another way to help is through prayer:

– “Pray for this congregation’s boldness and tactfulness as they will consistently testify of Jesus Christ…in a respectful manner,” says Allen. “Pray that God would change the heart of this village leader, that his heart would be open to hearing and believing the Gospel message.”

– Pray for the congregation as they experience uncertainty about their future.

– Ask God to make Himself known through this hard time.


  • Hyun chakma says:

    It’s not good. It’s depends on Peoples behavior. If we all really respect our god than we never blame each other.
    And If Christian community really want to helps us than they should help us as a humanity.

    They helping us and asking to become a Christian than it’s not a really way of Helping.

    It is necessary to become Christian to get help from you?

    What is different in Buddhist peoples and Christian peoples. We all same. We should help each other as a human.

  • Greg Yoder says:


    I’m sure there have been SOME organizations who claimed to be Christian made it a requirement to receive humanitarian aid. However, the organizations we’re talking about don’t do that. They provide aid. As they do, they tell those receiving it that it comes from Christians who love them. Many times people ask about a Christian’s faith. That’s when well tell them about Jesus and all that He means to us and how He loves Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and even people with no faith. He just wants to have a relationship with them. Some choose to follow Jesus, but many others don’t. It’s every person’s human right to choose their faith…even to CHANGE their faith. You’re not saying that right should be taken away are you?


  • As a Indigenous we are very very neglected in Bangladesh around of the world.

  • Jojo says:

    I want to serve Chakma…please help me and show me a good way to do it

  • p.chakma says:

    Actually the chakmas orgin is Buddhism since birth. when British was dominated to all people of bangal at that time the chakma also faced problem so many people converted into cristain but the chakma was not converted into cristain till date they are following rule of buddhism in the world. Its very nice.

  • Purna Chakma says:

    Praise the Lord.

    The Spirit of God is moving in Chittagong Hill Tracts. Most of the people in Chittagong Hill Tracts are helpless to the military rules. They are being oppressed by government and Satan’s power . They really need Gospel. They need all of your prayers . Please come forward to release them from all kind of emancipation and satanic power . Thousands of hundreds of souls are thirsty for gospel .

    May God lead those who support God’s ministry in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

  • Rabi Chakma says:

    Please pray constantly and work hard to bring our Chakmas people in to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only option for our suffering Chakmas community.

  • jude chakma says:

    chakmas are really hepless suffering since long….they should think the way out of this not to be engage in fighting over the religion….as everybody is free to choose a faith…

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