Bangladesh (MNN) — Life gets tougher for the Rohingya. A fire ripped through a Bangladesh refugee camp on Sunday, destroying hundreds of homes. Officials have reported no casualties, nor could they discover the cause of the fire.
Last week, a COVID-19 treatment center in the camps burned down as well. The Rohingya people fled from Myanmar to avoid genocide in 2017.
A Christian ministry worker we will call Robert works in Bangladesh with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. He says, “They don’t have a written language. They don’t have citizenship, they don’t have hope to get out unless they escape. It’s this seething, boiling pot of humanity. They’ve had floods, they’ve had fires. There is one church property inside the camp, which is amazing. We’ve been helping with that, but it’s so dangerous. The pastor and his family have to leave every night and sleep outside the camp.”
Christians among the Rohingya risk violence from certain extreme groups in the Muslim-majority camp. Authorities gave the Hindu minority their own camp to protect them. But Robert says, “They asked the Christians [if they wanted their own camp]. And they said, ‘No. Otherwise, how would anyone hear the name of Jesus?’ That is just a lump in the throat moment. I know about 25 of them that are doing little Bible studies in their shacks, in their homes. We know of about 2,500 Christians in there, but they have it rough.”
Pray many more Rohingya refugees would find hope in Jesus’ name, and ask God to protect the Church there.
Two years ago, Robert says extremists attacked Rohingya Christians who celebrated Christmas. “Three weeks after Christmas, each of those 27 homes was attacked and violently destroyed. People were beaten. The leader of the whole group was murdered.”
“I asked them, ‘Will you turn back?’ And they didn’t even understand the question. They said, ‘We found the truth. Did it stop being the truth?’”
The header photo shows Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. (Photo courtesy of Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)