Bangladesh officially became a Muslim state in 1988. Religious minorities may worship openly, but they face social discrimination, and religious freedom is being steadily eroded by Islamist pressure. Most discrimination against Christians comes from Muslims, but Buddhists in southeastern Bangladesh also oppose Christians. Christians are denied access to public water wells, their property is destroyed and they are beaten and blackmailed. While forced re-conversions to Islam are increasing, indigenous churches continue to grow. VOM supports a safe house and training center for converts. (Voice of the Martyrs 1)
Excerpt from Open Doors USA, One With Them Devotional
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Pastor Mir brought his wife, Anjali, and their children to live in a Muslim community in Bangladesh where most had never heard about Jesus. When the family arrived at their new home, curiosity drew many to see what Christians looked like. This was exactly what the Mirs had hoped for… an open mind!
Over the next several years, hearts began to soften toward the message of Jesus… but not everyone’s. Those not convinced pressured the Mirs to leave. But Pastor Mir and Anjali stood strong in their mission and chose to stay.
One night, Anjali heard a loud shot ring through the darkness. Her husband had been walking to the market when two men attacked him and shot him in the mouth. When he fell to the ground, they stabbed him with a dagger in several critical points of his body.
When Anjali heard that her husband had been attacked, she longed to go to him, but could not leave their two small children alone. However, God was with him. As he lay helpless, several converts came to his rescue and rushed him to a hospital.
Miraculously, the pastor survived and is preaching again. Despite the attack, the Mirs are committed to staying in their village. Anjali says, “If we leave then there will be no church, and the people who have just put their faith in Jesus may fall away. Our heart’s cry is to be faithful to Jesus to the end.”