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

Bangladesh: “My life is for the Lord’

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Almost every day, Rasheda Begum is faces mocking, bullying and discrimination from some of the people in her village in northern Bangladesh. Having grown up in a Muslim family, when she chose to follow Jesus she encountered a lot of opposition and persecution. Women already face discrimination in the male-dominant society, but being a woman from a religious minority makes life even harder.

“I have to face many challenges every day,” says Rasheda. “People don’t like that I’m active in society. They don’t like that I have a good relationship with my neighbours, and I stand with them when they need help.”

Teaching others to read and write…

When Rasheda started teaching adult literacy classes, after doing Open Doors training, the local Muslim leaders weren’t happy.

They used underhand tactics to try and stop her:

“They brought many false accusations against me. They tried to attack me, because I didn’t listen to them.” Rasheda stayed strong, and continued her work.

“My life is for the Lord. I do not fear the village leaders. I cannot stop my work that was entrusted by the Lord just because of the villagers’ threats.”

She’s had a great response from the women she teaches. “They are very inspired by the stories from the Bible,” says Rasheda. “I use the skills and lessons I have gained from the [Open Doors’] adult literacy training. I tell the stories from the Bible and help them to relate to their personal life. They want more to learn and listen to such wonderful stories from the Bible. I always try to support and encourage women to be independent, think freely, see freely.”

Rasheda’s class is a mixture of believers from a Muslim background and Muslim women. During the class, a number of the Muslim women chose to follow Jesus and become Christians – though some are doing this in secret, because of the severe opposition they’d face from their families. Rasheda baptised seven women last year, and others are preparing for baptism. Even those who aren’t Christians ask Rasheda to pray for them.

Rasheda is delighted by the impact of the work she doing – which all started with Open Doors training to teach adult literacy. Amazing!

Women and girls doubly vulnerable

Any persecuted Christian faces significant difficulties and opposition for following Jesus. Women and girls of the persecuted church like Rasheda face a second vulnerability: discrimination for their gender. In different contexts, that could mean a persecuted woman or girl is treated as a second-class citizen, abused by her husband, father or brother, trafficked or sold into marriage, the victim of sexual violence, or left to fend for herself and her children if her own loved ones disown her for her faith.

But in the face of all this, God still sees His daughters. He continues to pursue each Christian woman or girl, reminding her that she is seen, known and loved. Join us in praying for change for women and girls like Rasheda…

*Name changed for security reasons

PRAY NOW...
1

Thank God for the way He is using Rasheda, and the Open Doors training she received, to spread hope, joy and love in her community

3

For strength and healing for women like Rasheda from religious minorities who experience persecution for their faith and their gender

2

That more people would hear the good news of Jesus Christ through projects like the one Rasheda is running

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