Two Christian families in Bangladesh suffer extortion, beatings
August 25, 2010
(christiansunite.com) - Two Christian women in Bangladesh's northern district of Jamalpur said village officials extorted relatively large sums of money from them -- and severely beat the husband of one of them -- for proclaiming Christ to Muslims.
Johura Begum (42) of Pingna village said a member of the local union council, an area government representative and the father of a police officer threatened to harm her daughters if her family did not pay them 20,000 taka (approximately $290 CAD). The police officer whose father was allegedly involved in the extortion was investigating allegations that Christians had paid Muslims to be baptized by leaders of the Pentecostal Holiness Church of Bangladesh on May 26. According to Christian leaders, only six men of the 55 converts were baptized that day because of intimidation by protesting Muslims.
Villagers backed by a political leader of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League party also allegedly extorted 250,000 taka (approximately $3,660 CAD) from another Christian woman, 35-year-old Komola Begum of Doulatpur village. After the baptisms in the Brahmanputra River in Mymensingh district, local Muslims beat her husband to such an extent that he received three days of hospital treatment for his injuries. "My husband is a scapegoat -- he simply does business," she said. "But he was beaten for my faith and activities."
Police forced one of those present at the baptism, 45-year-old Hafijur Rahman, to sign a statement accusing four of the Christian leaders of offering him and others money to attend. He reported that he is illiterate and did not know what he was signing, and that he was not offered any money to go to the baptism service. For three days after the baptisms, local villagers announced through bullhorns the punishment Christians would receive for their activities, chanting among other slogans, "We will peel off the skins of the Christians." (Source: Compass Direct)
Please pray for the Lord's protection upon these people. Pray for justice and favour from the authorities. Pray the Lord will heal and fully restore the husband of Komola Begum.
Go to www.persecution.net/bangladesh.htm to learn more about the suffering Church in Bangladesh.