31

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

World Watch List Rank 31
World Watch List Score 67/100
Leader President Abdul Hamid
Population 169,775,000 | 903,000 Christians
Main Religion Islam
WWL Rank in 2020 38
Persecution Level Very High Persecution

In Bangladesh, Christian converts come from a Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu background. They face the most pressure from family and community, as well as from Islamic extremist groups and religious leaders.

Pastors often receive death threats and believers can be denied access to resources within the community. Christians can also be forced into marriages or giving up their businesses in order to pressure them to deny Jesus. Christian children are even persecuted at school and are mocked by their school teachers for their faith.

As demands to introduce Sharia (Islamic) law in Bangladesh increase, Christians are regularly monitored and treated with hostility, especially those who have converted from Islam. Christian converts are often forced to meet in secret and it can be dangerous to even own a Bible.

What changed this year?

At number 31 on the 2021 World Watch List, Bangladesh has risen by two spots primarily because of slight increases in many areas of persecution. In many aspects of daily life, pressure has tightened for Bangladeshi Christians, and they experience discrimination and persecution. There have been violent attacks against Christians in 2020, as well. In the spring, there was a violent incident against the tiny Christian community among the Rohingya refugee community that fled Myanmar for Bangladesh. There has also been better reporting, particularly in rural areas, which show how much pressure in church life has increased. Finally, in many anecdotal situations, Christians were left out of COVID-19 government relief, often facing starvation or severe health issues.   

HOW WE HELP

In Bangladesh, Open Doors works by equipping and training Christians and Christian leaders. There’s a particular focus on training new leaders and Christians who have converted from Islam—the latter are also particularly trained in how to prepare for persecution, since converts from Islam are often targeted. Open Doors also provides Bibles and other Christian literature, especially in rural areas where Bibles might be difficult to afford or access.

Open Doors also helps train Christians in literacy and through socio-economic development, to better equip the church in Bangladesh to carry out the Great Commission. Finally, Open Doors responds to emergency needs—in 2020, this meant helping believers who were denied aid during the COVID-19 pandemic or who desperately needed urgent help after Cyclone Amphan.   

PRAY FOR BANGLADESH

  • Pray for Christians who are discriminated against in government aid distributions during COVID-19 and cyclone relief. Often, poor day labourers faced a loss of income and starvation. Pray they would be able to recover, both physically and emotionally. 
  • Pray for the small group of Rohingya Christians as they seek to follow Jesus in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. Pray they will be kept safe and will be able to walk with Jesus, no matter what.
Pray for Bangladesh

RECENT STORIES FROM Bangladesh

The Faith of a Pastor in Bangladesh

14th Apr 2021

Found in Prayer News

Bangladesh is a Muslim majority nation. 90% of its population are Islamic, and only 0.3% are Christians. Being a very tiny minority, Muslim Background Believers…

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Fifty Years of Independence in Bangladesh

24th Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

Brother Abraham* has been an Open Doors partner in Bangladesh for many years, and as the country celebrates its 50th anniversary on March 26th, we…

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Christianity in Bangladesh

24th Mar 2021

Found in Podcast

On March 26, 2021, Bangladesh will celebrate 50 years of independence, so in this episode, we'll focus on Christianity in Bangladesh. Tune in to hear…

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Believers in Bangladesh targeted for persecution

09th Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

In Bangladesh, Open Doors partners have received reports that Muslim background believers are experiencing persecution by a group of Maulana (Muslim religious leaders and scholars)…

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"We live in fear every day"

23rd Dec 2020

Found in Prayer News

A family of believers from Muslim backgrounds are facing increased persecution from their community after attending a Christian event, and have been forced to take…

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"You are not the same as us."

17th Dec 2020

Found in Prayer News

Bijli* stands in the yard of her school, drawing a picture in the dirt with a stick. She draws a figure who looks like her…

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Fifteen Secret believers baptized in Bangladesh

14th Oct 2020

Found in Prayer News

Baptism can be a major step for our persecuted brothers and sisters. In places where converting to Christianity carries significant risk, making a public expression…

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Bangladesh: Christian mother and daughter killed

02nd Jul 2020

Found in Prayer News

In a deeply distressing incident, a young mother and daughter were targeted by a bomb attack in the middle of the night. While Shilpi (30) and her 5-year…

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Bangladesh and India Hit by Cyclone Amphan

22nd May 2020

Found in Prayer News

Bangladesh and India Hit by Amphan  What could be worse than COVID-19? A super cyclone during COVID-19. The Super Cyclone ‘Amphan’, which some are calling a monster cyclone, hit coastal…

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Bangladesh: Teenage boy commits suicide because of persecution

27th Feb 2020

Found in Prayer News

**Trigger warning: Suicide Chongya, a 16-yr old believer in Bangladesh took his own life this week because of persecution.   He and his brother were…

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Persecuted Rohingya believers attacked

30th Jan 2020

Found in Prayer News

We have an urgent prayer request. Our partners in Bangladesh are asking for prayer following an attack on a group of Rohingya believers from a…

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Christmas in Bangladesh

18th Dec 2018

Found in Prayer News

A family celebrates Christmas for the first time in Bangladesh While most Christians in Bangladesh can celebrate Christmas with some freedom, it is a different…

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