Bangladesh (ODM/MNN) — What would you do if neighbors constantly harassed your kids while you were at work?
Muslim-background believers (MBBs) in Bangladesh don’t have many options. But thanks to a shelter home provided by Open Doors USA, they’re praising God anyway.
“He provided a place where they [our kids] can practice their Christian life,” one parent states.
What is a shelter home?
At first glance, a shelter home seems pretty self-explanatory. But within the context of Muslim-majority Bangladesh, it provides more than four walls and a roof.
Bangladesh is approximately 89% Muslim and 0.66% Christian. The country is ranked #43 on the Open Doors World Watch List–a compilation of the world’s 50 worst persecutors of Christians.
According to Open Doors, MBB parents experience pressure from their Muslim neighbors for leaving Islam, and they lack confidence in defending their faith.
“Why do people mock me by calling me ‘son of a Christian?’” 11-year-old *Nur asks his mother. His question goes unanswered.
In other instances, Open Doors’ shelter home provides the reassurance MBB parents need to sleep at night.
“After I received Jesus, I could no longer keep my daughter in the house,” shares Bristi’s mom.
“Our neighbors would assault her every time I left for work. She’s better off at the shelter home where she can study and live in safety.”
Open Doors’ shelter home, which is operated through a local church, offers sanctuary to 36 children ages 6 to 14. Thirty-four of these children come from MBB families, and the other two are from a tribal background.
At the home, kids receive proper education, nutritious food, and spiritual training to develop their faith in Christ.
Why does it matter?
Along with discipleship, the shelter home provides better care for the children’s physical needs.
Due to poverty, many children in Bangladesh have a future of illiteracy, malnutrition, poor health, and stunted growth to look forward to. This is especially true of children from MBB families. MBBs are often denied access to community health facilities because of their faith in Christ.
“Without this shelter, our children may end up illiterate like us. Worse still, they may have to start working or run away from home,” parents tell Open Doors’ partners in Bangladesh.
“Their peers may morally corrupt them. They may not learn who the true God is. They may die for lack of food or shelter. This is happening to other children in Bangladesh.
“But we praise God that He has provided our children with studies, food, and shelter.”