Between freedom and oppression – Polizei.news


On March 26th, Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of its independence. Brother Abraham, a partner in Open Doors, Bangladesh, is pleased with the freedom of his nation. At the same time, he notes how religious persecution has increased recently.

“We look forward to celebrating 50 years of independence from Pakistan soon,” says Brother Abraham (name changed), partner of Open Doors in Bangladesh. We have previously gone through a period of bloody conflict with Pakistan. “






But the eventful history as part of India has also been stressful. Many of these problems were eliminated through the state. Brother Abraham recalls: “I was born after the independence of Bangladesh.” He spoke of a historical event that Muslims, Hindus, and Christians are now celebrating. “We are proud of the way our country has developed so far.”

On the anniversary, the focus is now on historical monuments – even more than a “regular” anniversary – and the people who have dedicated their lives to this country are honored. “It is a special year. Sheikh Mujib Al-Rahman, the father of our nation, was born 101 years ago.” And the centenary was on March 17th, 2020 so Bangladesh celebrates two major festivals within one year. The Bangladeshis, known as East Pakistan 50 years ago, were not free. “Today we are a free people.”

The pressure awaits the converts

Bangladesh is the fourth largest Muslim country, only Indonesia, India and Pakistan have more people converting to Islam. “Of our population of 165 million, 90 percent are Muslims, and Christians are a small minority of less than one percent.” Christians who have grown up in Christian families face no major problems. Therefore, there are individual politicians at different levels who belong to a Christian family. Brother Ibrahim notes: “It becomes difficult for a Muslim to change his beliefs – persecution begins immediately.” Such a person becomes a minority within a minority.

Threats and attacks often come from the family, the community, or the mob once the change of faith becomes known. “Those who live below the poverty line are especially at risk.” If someone becomes a Christian, they may lose their job. If he does not work, then he has neither income nor food. Some converts no longer sell anything, or if they have their own small business, nothing will be purchased from them. “

Organized attacks

Groups from the capital, Dhaka, are now moving to target transgender people. Brother Ibrahim demonstrates a new trend: “They are trying to return them to Islam.” “If they do not agree, they are threatened, for example, by breaking their legs, kidnapping their children, doing something with the woman or killing them.” These groups also confiscate Bibles and Christian literature during these “visits.” Men will be especially threatened. “If they lose their jobs, the whole family does not have food, and because of hunger, some return to the Islamic faith.” Sometimes the police intervene, “but when they are gone, the crackdown starts again.”

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The situation worsened

On the Global Tracking Index, Bangladesh rose from 38th to 31st place with mounting pressure recently. “Among other things, threatening videos are being uploaded on social media. It is not the Islamists from outside, but the local groups that feel encouraged to return the” apostates “and make sure that they do not convert to others.” Brother Abraham is concerned that Western embassies such as the European Union, Great Britain, Germany, the United States or Switzerland are stirring up the situation. Bangladesh is officially secular, but the persecution is clearly visible. Western embassies have the opportunity and influence to defend freedom. “

Quelle: Open Doors Schweiz
Address: Lumenite – shutterstock.com


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