Bangladeshi Christians Told to Close Church, Convert to Islam
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Oct 03
A local government official in central Bangladesh has halted the construction of a church, forced Christians to worship at a mosque and threatened them with eviction from their village unless they renounce their faith, World Watch Monitor reports. The Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church in Bilbathuagani village, Tangail district, about 70 miles north of Dhaka, was started Sept. 8 by a group of about 25 Christians who had been meeting secretly for three years. However, local council chairman Rafiqul Islam Faruk joined around 200 demonstrators Sept. 13 to protest against the start of the building of the church. The following day, the Christians were summoned to his office. More than 1,000 Muslims waited outside, following an announcement at all local mosques to gather at the chairman's office. Mokrom Ali, 32, told World Watch Monitor: "The chairman and the imams of the mosques interrogated me for accepting Christianity. They asked me why I had become a Christian. It is a great sin to become a Christian from Islam. If I did not accept Islam, they would beat me, burn my house and evict me from the society. Their threats chilled me to the bone. That is why I pretended to accept Islam, but faith in Christ is the wellspring of my life. Now I am no longer a Muslim; I am a Christian."