Bangladesh (MNN) — Rohingya refugees living in the U.S. and Europe have sued Facebook for 150 billion dollars. They say the platform allowed hate speech against them to spread in Myanmar.
In 2017, the Myanmar military killed 10,000 Rohingya and drove many more from their homes into Bangladesh. The coup and continuing violence in Myanmar mean the Rohingya will likely have no chance to return home any time soon.
Bruce Allen with FMI says the plight of about 1 million Rohingya is an ongoing disaster. “Just this week, 1,000 little shanty shops that these refugees have set up (in order to do business, buy food, or whatever they need) have gotten bulldozed by the Bangladeshi Government. Now the Bangladeshi government says these shops were illegal. And perhaps they truly were. But it’s what these refugees were relying on in terms of access to household items.”
This week, a human rights expert from the United Nations will visit the Rohingya in Bangladesh. This includes an investigation of the island of Bhasan Char, where the government has moved many Rohingya. “Some of the refugees are saying, ‘Oh, what a terrible situation this island is because it’s almost like a prison now for us. We don’t have access to things. We’re locked on an island.’ Bangladesh says they set this island up for about 100,000 people.”
Allen says Bhasan Char will be exposed to storms in the Bay of Bengal as well, though not any more than the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp on the mainland.
How to pray
Many Christian ministries work among the Rohingya. Ask God to give these refugees hope and provide for their needs.
Pray for the citizens of Bangladesh as well. Allen says, “What our Bangladeshi partners are saying is ‘Yes, we welcome the refugees. But we’ve been overrun by 1.2 million additional people. Life has gotten a lot harder for the Bangladeshis as well. They’ve lost fields, plants, farming areas, things like that.”
The header photo shows the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh. (Photo courtesy of FMI)