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Children from Christian homes were taken
to madrasas in Bangladesh
Photo: Nikolaus / Wikimedia Commons

80 children from Christian homes in Bangladesh were taken under false pretences by mullahs (Islamic clerics) to various madrasas (Islamic boarding schools). Attempts were made to forcibly convert them to Islam. Eleven of the children have been rescued, while the whereabouts of the remaining 69 are unknown.

The children come from the Chittagong Hills of Eastern Bangladesh where their Christian faith makes them a minority and the target of overt discrimination. In January and February, the Christian parents each paid 15,000 BDT (roughly $182 CDN ) to individuals who promised to house and educate their children in nearby cities. A quality education in the Chittagong Hills is rare, and parents often do this as a way of providing a future for their children.

Parents lost communication with their children almost immediately. After months of conducting their own search, they contacted Hotline Human Rights Trust (HHRT). According to the HHRT director, the rescued children recounted acts of physical abuse when they refused to pray, read the Qur'an, or learn Arabic. The children went on to explain that they attempted to escape after being told they would be forcibly circumcised.

Thank the Lord for the children who have returned to their families and pray the missing children will be found soon. Ask the Lord to protect these children both physically and spiritually. May the Holy Spirit strengthen them through this ordeal. Pray the perpetrators will be brought to justice and the families in this area of Bangladesh will have other ways of providing an education for their children.

For more information on persecution in Bangladesh, visit 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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