(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday September 2, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
Population: 169.8 million, Christian 903,000 thousand (0.5%)
Christians in Bangladesh face the greatest pressure in their general community and private life. Bangladeshi society is growing increasingly Islamic, with the government doing more to appease concerns from Muslim extremists. Islamic extremists in the country pressure all groups of Christians. Evangelistic churches—many of them Pentecostal—that work among the Muslim majority face the most persecution, but even historical churches like the Roman Catholic Church are increasingly faced with attacks and death threats.
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 situations, Christians were left out of COVID-19 government relief, often facing starvation or severe health issues.
Converts from a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or an ethnic/tribal background suffer the most severe restrictions, discrimination and attacks in Bangladesh. They often gather in small house churches or secret groups due to fear of attack.
08/02/2021 According to Asia News, a church in Bangladesh was attacked and demolished by Buddhist radicals. Local reports indicate the attack, which happened in two phases, took place after weeks of threats.“We were Buddhists and we met Jesus Christ in 2005,” Pastor Tubel Chakma Poran Adetion told Asia News. “In January of this year we build the church. Every day we gathered and prayed, but the local Buddhist majority didn’t like it. They attacked us and demolished our church twice.”
On July 12, Buddhist radicals, led by Joan Chakma, reportedly confronted the Christians of Suandrapara and told them they had to tear down the church within three days. When the Christians did not succumb to these threats, the radicals attacked the church on July 15, damaging the church’s gate, cross, and other parts of the building.After the July 12 attack, the radicals demanded the Christians stop all kinds of church activities and reconvert to Buddhism. The Christians were given seven days to meet these demands.
On July 22, three days after the radicals’ deadline, they attacked again and demolished the church’s wall, door, and tin roof. The attackers told the Christians that there would be dire consequences for any who reported the attacks to the media or local police. “We did not go to the police station for security reasons,” Pastor Adetion told Asia News. “We are a minority and Buddhists can do anything to us. We want peace by talking to them.”
“The radicals told us to destroy the church, but we will not,” Pastor Adetion continued. “If we have to sacrifice our lives, we will. They threatened us to return to our old religion, but we will not return. Jesus Christ is our savior. We will die for him.”
Church leaders in Bangladesh report that the Christian community of Suandrapara has been praying in a small house church setting since 2005. However, local Buddhist radicals became enraged when the church members received funds to build a brick and tin building for their church.
- Pray for the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and his ministers to protect the Christian minorites from radical Muslim persecution.
- Pray for training for Christians from different tribes and cultures, that they would be equipped to take back what they have learned to strengthen their communities.
- Pray for Christians who are discriminated against in government aid distributions during COVID-19 and cyclone relief. Often, poor day laborers 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 that the Lord will appear to Islamic extremists in their dreams and convert them to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray that God would be near to our brokenhearted brothers and sisters in Bangladesh. Ask God to make His presence felt to them.
- Ask God to pour out His Spirit of love, order and calm over these communities. Pray for safety and protection in the days ahead.
- Ask God to intervene against violence and bring the persecutors to justice. These attacks have gone on for too long.
- Pray for NGOs to provide support, pastor training and relocation for persecuted Christians.
- Pray that the Lord will guide and protect His believers when they reach out to give the Good News
- Pray that Believers can love and forgive their persecutors.
- Pray that the Lord will bind the powers of darkness to build His church, that the gates of hell will be closed and that the number of believers will increase hundredfold.
Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
- Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
- Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
- Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
- Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
- For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator
Prayer Conference Call Details
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.
Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.
“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.
We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.
Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team
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