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‘Ever-Present’ Persecution in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

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Washington — In countries like Myanmar and Nigeria, acts of persecution against Christians are more likely to make news reports because of their extreme violence. But in many other locations, persecution typically takes on a more subtle form. It likely won’t make any media outlet and might not have any documentation at all. But it’s still an ever-present issue that diminishes the quality of life for many Christians.

One place where such persecution occurs is Bangladesh, a South Asian nation with an overall population of 170 million, where over 90% of the people are Muslim and most of the remaining portion are Hindu.

Thomas (real name withheld to protect identity), a Christian in Bangladesh, says that many people “express their desire for conversion” to Christianity, but they don’t follow through with it due to “threats of killing and persecution.”

Many children in Bangladesh “grow up with a nasty mentality to hate other faiths,” says Thomas. In the villages, these children often target the Christian families “to steal and destroy farms and gardens.” He adds that when Christians protest such behavior, then things become more aggressive.

In the cities, says Thomas, anti-Christian sentiment can surface through harassment from non-Christian employees or having non-Christian employees refuse to cooperate with the Christian employee. The Christian employee might also get stuck with job duties on a Sunday, so that they might have to choose between attending church or keeping their job.

Thomas isn’t sure exactly what percent of Bangladeshi Muslims support acts of persecution against Christians. He says, though, that it doesn’t take much to spoil the “full bucket of milk.”

He gives the example in which you might have “just one person doing anti-Christian activities in a large Muslim family.” Maybe the other family members “silently support it,” or maybe they themselves “are also afraid” of their hostile family member. It can be very difficult for an outsider to determine which case is the reality. But either way, nobody discourages the person from acting on his hostility.

Thomas says that “anti-Christian mentality is present throughout” the country among Muslims who are either uneducated or who study in fundamentalist madrassas which teach that Bengali is not a Muslim language, and that Islam is the only legitimate religion. “It’s enough to make a soft brain child into a violent fanatic,” says Thomas.

Rates of Christianity are much higher among indigenous ethnic minorities in Bangladesh. Thomas says these indigenous Christians are typically “very humble and hospitable,” especially to a wandering laborer “who comes very helplessly to work in the area.”

Thomas shares a scenario in which a Muslim might come to a Christian household to do agricultural work. The Christian family might give the Muslim some land to live on. Then, the Muslim “calls other relatives and builds a mosque with bamboo.”

At this point, the guest might start to act like he’s the owner. Thomas says then “they become a threat to local people … they take away crops, steal fruits and vegetables, make a chaos without any cause.” At this point, the host family will have “lost their inner silence,” he adds.

As for legal recourse, Thomas says how, “Without a complaint, the police have no responsibilities. And if you go to complain, you have to pay an official fee with a big bundle.” Then the police want evidence. “How do you show bullying and tricking?” asks Thomas.

People tend to view filing a criminal complaint as a major source of harassment. As Thomas explains, “If the police call you to the station, you lose your daily wage and maybe even your job.” And “if the police come to your home, you need to make them happy with some external hospitality, otherwise the report will be against you.”

“Sometimes, the village chief or higher authority supports people against the Christians,” says Randall (real name withheld to protect identity), a pastor from northern Bangladesh. He adds that Christian converts from Muslim backgrounds have a slim chance at receiving fair treatment.

Bangladesh’s secular federal government has expressed its concern about Islamic extremism, but Randall feels that the effort they make about persecution is “not fruitful action.”

In Randall’s view, “above 90 percent of Bangladeshi Muslims support acts of persecution against Christians.” He estimates that about half of Bangladeshi Hindus support such acts.

Another South Asian nation, Sri Lanka, has an unusual degree of religious diversity, with four major religions forming considerable percentages of the population (about 70% Buddhist, a bit more than 10% Hindu, and Christians and Muslims each a bit under 10%).

Aside from the catastrophic 2019 Easter bombings that struck multiple churches and luxury resorts, persecution of Sri Lanka’s Christians typically isn’t of the sort that makes headlines. And yet it can be a constant issue.

Elias (real name withheld to protect identity), a Catholic in northern Sri Lanka, says he doesn’t know of any cases of Sri Lankans having their land taken specifically because of their Christian faith.

“But when it comes to the workplace, [Sri Lankan] Christians face a lot of challenges,” he says. “They need to work harder than the other laborers to survive in that workplace.” And in many cases, “They’re unable to reach the top positions even if they have talents to lead,” he adds.

Persecution against Christians in Sri Lanka is often linked to Buddhist nationalism that is prominent among the majority ethnic group, known as the Sinhalese.

But Elias says that Sri Lanka’s Muslims persecute against Christians in a way that is disproportionately stronger than the part of the overall population they form. This type of persecution, he says, is more pronounced on the country’s eastern coast, which has a higher Muslim population.

Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, with its overwhelming Muslim majority, some Christians are compelled to “depend on Muslim lawyers to fight against [other] Muslims” who have taken their land by coercion or with fake documents, says Thomas. These lawyers “are very clever,” he adds. They “take away money from the Christians” and then work on behalf of the Muslims.

Thomas feels that Christians are powerless to solve this problem either legally or illegally. “So, it stays as is.”

Making their way to Christian households are the next round of itinerant laborers. As Thomas describes, “They come as a humble cat and then become a tiger.”
Sources:persecution

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7 രാജ്യക്കാരുടെ വീസ വിലക്ക് നീക്കി കുവൈത്ത്

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കുവൈത്ത് സിറ്റി : പാക്കിസ്ഥാൻ ഉൾപ്പെടെ 7 രാജ്യക്കാർക്ക് കുവൈത്ത് ഏർപ്പെടുത്തിയിരുന്ന കുടുംബ, സന്ദർശക വീസ വിലക്ക് നീക്കി. സിറിയ, യെമൻ, അഫ്ഗാനിസ്ഥാൻ, ഇറാഖ്, ഇറാൻ, സുഡാൻ എന്നിവയാണ് മറ്റു രാജ്യങ്ങൾ. ഇന്നു മുതൽ ഈ രാജ്യക്കാരുടെ വീസ അപേക്ഷ സ്വീകരിക്കും. വിവിധ കാരണങ്ങളാൽ 2 വർഷം മുൻപ് നിർത്തിവച്ചിരുന്ന ഫാമിലി വിസിറ്റ് വീസകൾ കഴിഞ്ഞ മാസം ഭാഗികമായി പുനരാരംഭിച്ചിരുന്നു.
Sources:Metro Journal

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നൈജീരിയയില്‍ 21.7 ദശലക്ഷം നൈറയുടെ ബൈബിളുകള്‍ വിതരണം ചെയ്തു

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ലാഗോസ്: സൗജന്യ ബൈബിൾ വിതരണ യജ്ഞത്തിന്റെ ഭാഗമായി നൈജീരിയയിലെ ബൈബിൾ സൊസൈറ്റി കഴിഞ്ഞ വര്‍ഷം വിതരണം ചെയ്തത് 21.7 ദശലക്ഷം നൈജീരിയന്‍ നൈറയുടെ ബൈബിളുകള്‍. ജയിൽ തടവുകാര്‍ ഉള്‍പ്പെടെയുള്ളവര്‍ക്കു ബൈബിളുകള്‍ എത്തിച്ചതായി അധികൃതര്‍ പറയുന്നു. അന്ധരായവര്‍ക്ക് വേണ്ടി നൂറ്റിയന്‍പതോളം ബ്രെയിലി ബൈബിളുകളും ബൈബിൾ സൊസൈറ്റി വിതരണം ചെയ്തിരിന്നു. 2022-ൽ വിതരണം ചെയ്ത ബൈബിളുകളെക്കാള്‍ 30% വർദ്ധനവാണ് 2023-ല്‍ ഉണ്ടായിരിക്കുന്നതെന്നാണ് കണക്കുകള്‍. സൗജന്യ ബൈബിൾ വിതരണത്തിലൂടെയും മറ്റ് പരിപാടികളിലൂടെയും, ദൈവവചനം അനേകര്‍ക്ക് ലഭ്യമാക്കാന്‍ വിവിധ പദ്ധതികള്‍ ആവിഷ്ക്കരിച്ചു വരികയാണെന്നും നൈജീരിയയിലെ ബൈബിൾ സൊസൈറ്റി വ്യക്തമാക്കി.

പോർച്ചുഗലിൽ നിന്നുള്ള അഗസ്തീനിയൻ, കപ്പൂച്ചിൻ സന്യാസിമാർ വഴി പതിനഞ്ചാം നൂറ്റാണ്ടിലാണ് നൈജീരിയയിലേക്ക് ക്രിസ്തീയ വിശ്വാസമെത്തുന്നത്. രാജ്യത്തെ ക്രൈസ്തവരില്‍ മൂന്നിൽ രണ്ടും പ്രൊട്ടസ്റ്റന്‍റ് വിഭാഗമാണ്. 88.4 മില്യണ്‍ ക്രൈസ്തവരാണ് നൈജീരിയയില്‍ ജീവിക്കുന്നത്. അമേരിക്ക ആസ്ഥാനമായ ഗവേഷണ ഏജന്‍സിയായ പ്യൂ റിസർച്ച് സെന്ററിന്റെ കണക്കുകള്‍ പ്രകാരം ആഫ്രിക്കയിലെ ഏറ്റവും അധികം ക്രൈസ്തവരുള്ളത് നൈജീരിയയിലാണ്. നൈജീരിയയിലെ തെക്കൻ, മധ്യ മേഖലകളിലെ ക്രൈസ്തവര്‍ തിങ്ങിപാര്‍ക്കുന്നത്. അതേസമയം ഇസ്ലാമിക തീവ്രവാദികളുടെ എണ്ണം വലിയ തോതില്‍ വര്‍ദ്ധിച്ചതോടെ ക്രൈസ്തവര്‍ കനത്ത ഭീഷണിയാണ് നേരിടുന്നത്. ക്രൈസ്തവര്‍ക്ക് നേരെയുള്ള അതിക്രമങ്ങളും കൊലപാതകങ്ങളും പതിവ് സംഭവങ്ങളായി രാജ്യത്തു മാറിയിരിക്കുകയാണ്.
കടപ്പാട് :പ്രവാചക ശബ്ദം

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Greg Laurie’s Powerful Message About Prayer, Jesus, and the ‘Last Days’: ‘Conflicts, War, Turmoil, Terrorism’

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When it comes to evangelism, Pastor Greg Laurie has seen — and done — it all.

From packed-out stadiums to his popular weekly services at Harvest Christian Fellowship in California, Laurie has been at the forefront of evangelistic tides and cultural movements.

That’s why his response when asked what most concerns him about today’s chaotic culture is so important and worthy of contemplating.

“Everything’s moving the wrong direction, and social media is like gasoline that’s been poured on top of it,” Laurie recently told CBN News. “You hear all this bad news around the world — the conflicts, the war, the turmoil, the terrorism, the crime rising in our streets, and on it goes.”

He continued, “And Jesus said, ‘When you see these things beginning … look up for your redemption is drawing near.’”

Laurie encouraged people to “look up” and turn to God amid the chaotic mixture of events. Over the decades, his work has focused on helping people do just that, trading lives focused on the self for a vertical existence that looks to Jesus as the baseline for morality and truth.

“I want to do everything I can to bring the message of the Gospel into our culture,” he said. “We do need another spiritual awakening. The last spiritual awakening, known as the Jesus movement … really changed the course of our nation. Everything was going the wrong direction back then.”

Laurie encouraged people to “pray for another [revival] desperately.” He said the Jesus movement, a time when he found Jesus, very much mirrored the cultural chaos we’re embroiled in today.

Despite all of the negative trends persisting, Laurie praised some of the recent spiritual developments, including last year’s Asbury revival, a days-long worship service that made headlines around the globe.

He also presided over a mass baptism last summer that saw around 4,500 people be immersed — quite possibly the biggest baptism in U.S. — if not world — history.

“I see these little things happening like our baptism, what happened at Asbury campus … and I’m praying that they will increase and it will become a spiritual downpour,” Laurie said. “God does promise in the last days to pour his spirit out on all flesh, and so we’re praying that happens again.”
Sources:faithwire

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