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Three tribal Christians are being held captive at a pagoda in Lemuchari village, Khagrachari district, Bangladesh by Buddhist members of an armed rebel group and their sympathizers. The three Christians -- Pastor Shushil Jibon Talukder (55), Bimol Kanti Chakma (50) and Laksmi Bilas Chakma (40) -- are all members of the Maddha Lemuchari Baptist Church. They were taken to the pagoda on April 16 after being beaten in an attempt to force them to return to Buddhism. Pastor Shushil was injured so severely that he couldn’t walk and was taken to the pagoda on a stretcher. The Regional Sub-district Chairman has stated, "They became Christian, and they were breaking the rules and customs of the Buddhist society, so elders of the society were angry with them.... That is why they were sent to a pagoda for 15 to 20 days for their spiritual enlightenment, so that they can come back to their previous place [Buddhism]." The next day, armed Buddhists seized blankets, Bibles and song books from the believers' church building and forced Christians to dismantle the building. (Source: Compass Direct)

Pray for the safe release of the three believers. Pray that they will remain steadfast in the faith (1 Peter 5:8-10). Pray that those inflicting harm on Christians in Lemuchari village will repent and accept Jesus as their Saviour.

For more information on the plight of believers in Bangladesh, click here.