We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

BANGLADESH: AKRAM ENDS UP IN PRISON FOR REPORTING AN ASSAULT

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When Akram* went to the police, to file a complaint against the neighbours who had violently attacked his wife and his young children, he ended up in prison himself. How wrong is that?

Like most of Bangladesh’s small number of Christians, Akram and his family converted from Islam. This angered Akram’s extended family and his community, and they have faced continued persecution and pressure to give up Christianity. But they have remained strong in their faith, and are determined to keep following Jesus.

WHAT HAPPENED?

A few weeks ago, his wife and young family were physically assaulted by Muslim neighbours in their community, in a remote part of northern Bangladesh. The beating was so bad they ended up having to go to hospital, which is pretty shocking when Sephali, Akram’s daughter, is just four years old.

On the same day as the attack, Akram went to the police – he knew who the attackers were, since they all live in the same community. Some were even his relatives. But the police didn’t take any action against those who attacked Akram’s family.

Those same people then filed two false accusations against Akram. He was accused of being involved with opposition political parties and undertaking anti-government activities, and he was also accused of forcibly converting Muslims to Christianity and slandering the prophet Muhammad. These are extremely serious crimes in Muslim-majority Bangladesh. False accusations are often used as a way of intimidating Christian communities, and getting police on the case of believers – though imprisonment is relatively rare.

A week after the violent attack, Akram was arrested at around 4pm from a local market. In the early hours of the next morning, he was sent to jail. He’s currently still there.

InTENSE INtimidation

Akram’s local church leader is looking for a neutral lawyer who will take on the case. He’s nervous to hire a Muslim lawyer because he fears they might be biased and side with the Akram’s accusers. Since his arrest, Akram’s family have been fearful and panicked that there will be further violence. Often at night people throw stones on their roof and frighten the family while they’re sleeping.

Since Akram was the only person in the family earning an income, his wife and children are also struggling to find food and security. “The children are crying and asking every day to bring their father back home,” shares his wife. “The are doing exams and they cannot concentrate on their studies. We are living without food. Because of the tension and fear, we could not eat and sleep. I do not know what to do, or where to go to bring my husband back home.”

Open Doors local partners are sending support for emergency needs, and have visited the family to offer encouragement and prayer. They are also finding ways to aid in legal assistance to help Akram be released on bail.

Please pray for Akram and his family using the points below…

*Names changed for security purposes.

PRAY NOW...
1

For Akram’s good health and safety in prison. Pray he will find hope and courage in the Lord and be released without charge

3

For the other local believers to remain united and fearlessly stand up to those persecuting them.

2

For God to protect the family and keep them surrounded by His peace

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