EEW Magazine Faith News // Global
On a recent fact-finding trip to Bangladesh, Christian Freedom International President Jim Jacobson interviewed scores of indigenous Christian pastors, street evangelists, missionaries and converts to Christianity.
"Many Muslims are converting. Mostly in the rural areas," reports Jacobson.
According to them, Christianity is on the increase and the growth is a cause of concern for the Muslim majority. As a result, persecution is on the increase against the fast growing, mostly underground Christian Church.
According to official estimates, the religious composition of Bangladesh is 89.1% Muslim and 10% Hindi, with less than 1% Christian in a nation of over 156 million people. But unofficially, Christianity is much larger and growing, especially in the rural areas.
Official Reports are Wrong
Official reports on religious composition only count "traditional Christians," that is, people who are born into the Christian faith and attend government approved churches. But "converts," those who change their religion from Islam to Christianity, are not counted and no surveys have been made.
The consensus among converts is that Christians in Bangladesh make up of at least 10% of the population and that the number grows every day. Indigenous evangelists tell CFI they believe that Bangladesh will become a Christian nation in their lifetimes. If the 10% number is correct, there are at least 15,600,000 Christians in this Muslim majority nation. Evidence seems to support the claims.
More than 20,000 Converts
Pastor Khaleque, 60, a former Muslim and now a Christian street pastor who works among the hill tribes in the northeast part of Bangladesh told CFI, "In the last 12 months, more than 20,000 Muslims have converted to Christianity. More than 20,000 have converted and this is becoming a real problem for the Muslims."
Christian Freedom International has worked in Bangladesh for many years and runs numerous missions in the country. Among other projects, CFI supports a Center for disabled converts to Christianity, Child Sponsorship and Sunday School programs, and indigenous Christian pastors, evangelists, and missionaries throughout the Bangladesh.
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