I hate admitting it, but it is hard to imagine horrific poverty and overpopulation. I live in a suburban area. My streets are clean. My apartment is clean, and not overpopulated. I drive my nice car to work every day, where (by God's gracious and undeserved provision) I make an above poverty level wage. And it's not just me. My husband alone makes above the poverty line. On top of all of that, I drive to my nice church building three times a week where I hear God's Word preached, sing the Word in song, and experience fellowship with other believers. All without any fear that someone might come in at any moment and torture me, or worse: kill me.
It's not wrong that God has provided all of this for me. In fact, I should be thankful and should be on my face thanking him daily.
For the people of Bangladesh, my life is very far from the reality of their life. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. In fact, 55% of the Bengali people live below the poverty line. Overpopulation only compounds the poverty. Add to it that Bangladesh is an Islamic state that persecutes Christians, and the suffering is compounded even further. With over 150 million people living in this small country, approximately 85% of the population claims to be Muslim. While the country claims religious freedom, persecution is a great risk for people who do not adhere to the teachings of Islam, especially for Christians.
Bangladesh is a country that is overwhelmed by poverty, recovery from civil war with Pakistan, and the danger of natural disasters. They are a country who has seen increased Islamic violence, even while (though a very small number) the Christian church continues to grow. The Bengali people are among some of the largest unreached people groups in the world, especially when you add in the ones who do not live in the actual country of Bangladesh. This could mean that a Bengali man or woman might be right around your corner. They are a people who need our prayers and our time, and they are a people who desperately need Jesus Christ.
Ways to Pray:
- Pray for the existing church that it would grow in the midst of persecution.
- Pray that poverty would not lead to despair, but would lead to the true Redeemer, Jesus.
- Pray that missionaries would go to Bangladesh. There is a tremendous need for people to go.
- Pray that God would raise up leaders for the churches in Bangladesh.