Christian converts often gather in small house-churches or secret groups due to fear of attack.
Converts from a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or an ethnic/tribal background suffer the most severe persecution in Bangladesh. Evangelistic churches, many of them Pentecostal, working among the Muslim majority face persecution, but even historical churches such as the Roman Catholic Church are increasingly faced with attacks and death threats.
Tribal Christians such as the Santal endure pressure on both ethnic and religious grounds, and struggle with land-grabbing issues and violence. Christians among the Muslim Rohingya, who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar, are facing harassment and strong pressure from their community as well.
The government struggles to counter the growing strength of radical Islamic groups, adding to the general insecurity. Until recently Bangladesh had managed to stay clear of the kind of radicalism that has plagued other parts of the world. That’s changing.
Christians are a tiny minority and, if they belong to ethnic minorities, face a double vulnerability. Christian converts come quickly under pressure from either radical Islamic groups or the Islamic culture in their neighbourhoods. They are facing much violence. Churches and all minority religions strive to stay clear of politics.
The rise of 10 ranks is propelled by score increases in all spheres of life, including a sharp increase in violence. The rise reflects a situation which can only be described as tense and frightening for the Christian religious minority, even more so for the converts. Another reason is improved reporting from the tribal areas, although access is still limited.
Bangladesh was founded as a secular state, and secularism is even laid down in the country’s constitution, but it states at the same time that Islam is the state religion, and Muslims are in positions of leadership, both politically and socially. Therefore, Open Doors is helping to strengthen the church living under Islam.
The scope of our work includes the following:
NB! Dokumentet er på engelsk
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Bangladesh 25. februar 2020
Chongya, en 16 år gammel gutt fra buddhistisk bakgrunn begikk selvmord 7. februar 2020. Grunnen er forfølgelsen han opplevde fra foreldrene, fordi han nå var kristen, ifølge en lokal Åpne Dører partner. Han døde i huset sitt i Bandarban i den østlige delen av Bangladesh.
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