Please pray for Bangladesh, which is facing an increasing number of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases. It’s a high-risk country due to its large population and dense settlements, coupled with a lack of doctors, nurses and specialised hospitals to handle such a pandemic.
The Open Doors team in Bangladesh are receiving phone calls every day from believers and partners all over the country asking for help. One Open Doors local partner says, “Some of the believers are starving. Some are forced to eat less, so that they can maximise the number of days they can continue to have food. Some are borrowing money with high interest rates to buy food.”
These vulnerable people are not currently receiving any sort of government aid.
The economy of Bangladesh has been hit badly by the lockdown which has been put in place to stem the spread of the virus. The government has strictly prohibited any public meetings and now millions of people are unemployed, including Christians, who are especially vulnerable as they are discriminated against when aid is being distributed.
Although the government are making efforts to try to raise awareness and giving instructions on how people can protect themselves and others, many are not following the guidelines. People who have returned from foreign countries are not adhering to the call to be quarantined at home.
An Open Doors partner also reported that religious leaders are giving their followers false information and spreading rumours about the pandemic, saying that COVID-19 is a curse from Allah for the non-Muslims and that it will not affect a true Muslim. This only adds to the persecution already faced by Christians in the country.
Thanks to your prayers and support, Open Doors has so far provided help for 74 families in Bangladesh, but the need is far greater. Please pray for Open Doors local partners as they take risks to reach and support those in need.
- For God to strengthen and provide for the needs of these believers, and that they will stand firm in their faith in this challenging time
- For the minorities in Bangladesh, including Christians, that they will not be discriminated against in receiving aid
- Bangladesh is a poor country and does not have the medical facilities to handle a wide scale pandemic. Pray for God to help the government and the population to do their best in fighting against this disease.
FINDING SPIRITUAL STRENGTH IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS
While the situation in Bangladesh seems dire, praise God that, in the midst of this pandemic, Christians are able to receive spiritual encouragement and teaching through Omega magazine.
In Bangladesh, Omega magazine is playing an important role in educating and strengthening the faith and knowledge of Christians. With support from Open Doors local partners, nearly 1,500 copies are printed every month and distributed to many families of believers from Muslim backgrounds, and to different organisations and institutions.
Well-known theologians and writers have contributed articles on various topics, events and stories in the magazine, such as family life, church life, religious history and religious events. The language is kept simple to make sure that readers of all ages can engage with it.
Omega is also reaching many non-believers with the gospel, who are being given the magazine by their friends. “The magazine is very useful for me. I read it, my family members read it and sometimes my friends read it. I am indirectly sharing the gospel through this magazine. We find many lessons on how to live out a good life,” says Jahangir Kabir.
Open Doors partners are reaching persecuted Christians with vital aid across Asia at this difficult time, from the southern Philippines to India. Please keep praying and support your worldwide family to get the resources they need in this time of crisis.
- For all the readers of the Omega magazine, that it will continue to benefit leaders and believers all over Bangladesh
- For the writers and editors that they will continue to make the magazine easily understandable and available to many more believers.
- For God’s work through this magazine in Bangladesh, especially among believers from Muslim backgrounds. Pray that many Muslims would encounter Jesus through this magazine.