Bangladesh (MNN) – Funerals help families grieve and honor loved ones who pass on. In Bangladesh, tradition outlaws some believers from the burial process.
“Sometimes, we have to take the body to [a] different city far from there and ask somebody to bury them in their personal backyard, or something like that,” Pastor William* explains.
Pastor William works with FARMS International and a church network in Bangladesh. People from majority religions turn to Christ, he says, but that doesn’t mean their body will rest with fellow believers when they die.
Bangladesh allocates cemetery land by religion, and the separation is austere.
“The traditional Christian cemetery [doesn’t] allow Muslim-background believers or Hindu-background believers to bury the body in the graveyard because they [fear] persecution.”
For some, a family member’s death soon becomes a test of faith. “People come to the believer’s house and [say] ‘Come back to Muslim religion again; we can allow your family’s dead body to [be buried] in our graveyard’,” Pastor William says.
Ask the Lord to strengthen believers from Muslim and Hindu backgrounds so they will not turn away from Christ. Pray Pastor William’s church network can build a graveyard for believers from different backgrounds.
“We don’t have [a] church building; we have 85 house churches in different places. We need a church and we need a graveyard,” Pastor William says.
“We want them (believers from a Muslim background) to be united, especially at Christmas and Easter. They can come together from different districts and different cities and say, ‘We are not alone.’”
*Name withheld for security purposes.
The header photo shows a graveyard in Mainamati, Bangladesh (Photo courtesy of Syed Rifat Hossain/Unsplash) https://unsplash.com/photos/oCRCysW_Xg4