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Pastor Shankar Hazra and his wife Depali
Photo from
Compass Direct

Pastor Shankar Hazra (55) and his wife Depali (45) were attacked by Muslims outside their home on the Chaksing Baptist church property in Gopalganj district, Bangladesh on January 6. According to a January 20 report from Compass Direct, in the early morning, the couple went outside to use the washroom when approximately seven Muslims surrounded them. They tied Pastor Hazra to the porch and blindfolded Depali and forced her inside the house. The assailants looted the couple's belongings and gang-raped Depali. Upon leaving the house, they broke into the nearby church building where they urinated and defecated on the floor. Pastor Hazra was eventually able to untie himself and get help for his unconscious wife.

Although the couple testifies that their attackers were Muslim, police officers, Muslim-owned media and some influential citizens have made the claim that the crime was actually committed by two Christians and a Hindu under the direction of another local pastor. When the police stated these allegations in the initial report, Pastor Hazra signed the document without reading it because he was so shaken from the attack. Depali has since written a corrected statement of the events. At last report, the couple was living with relatives to avoid further attacks.

Ask God to heal Depali from the physical and emotional scars of the rape. Pray that those who are truly guilty will be found and convicted. Pray that Pastor Hazra and Depali will continue be a light that draws others to Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16).

Find out more about the persecution of Christians in Bangladesh at the Bangladesh Country Report.

Current Ministry Project

The people of Bangladesh are hungry for the Word of God, and in response VOMC is helping to provide Bible training to a group of Christian men who have a strong desire to learn and grow.

Project Fund: Equipping the Saints

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
164,098,818 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Bengali (98), Ethnic groups (1.1)

Religions (%)
Islam (88.4), Hinduism (10), other - includes Buddhism and Christianity (1.6)

Leader
President Abdul Hamid (2013)

Government type
Parliamentary republic

Legal system
Based on English common law and Islamic law.

Source: CIA World Factboo

Pray for Bangladesh

As the Word of God goes forth in Bangladesh through the Christian radio and television broadcasts, may the "Good News" of the Gospel accomplish mighty things in the lives of all who hear it! Pray that the seeds sown in hearts will take root and bear healthy and lasting fruit, and that the spiritual leaders of this country will be ready and equipped to disciple the resulting influx of new believers.

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