Pastor Habib leads a rapidly growing church where new believers were unable to get baptised. But that’s all changed recently – helped by Open Doors supporters like you!
Pastor Habib baptises a new believer in the pool provided by supporters like you
Baptisms are such joyous and precious occasions, but what if they cannot be held because of persecution?
That was the issue facing Pastor Habib’s growing church in south west Bangladesh. Around 500 believers are spread out among 23 house groups. But being in a predominantly Muslim context, it’s very difficult for new believers – many of whom are young – to get baptised.
There are no public places where they can conduct baptisms without risk. If these baptisms of new believers are discovered, locals will likely respond aggressively. Baptisms can be done secretly, but if this involves many people then a pool is needed – and small churches cannot afford this.
“We had been praying for a long time and had requested many people to pray about a baptism pool for us,” shares Pastor Habib. “It was very important and necessary for our church.”
"No one will keep us from baptising new believers" Pastor Habib
Their prayers were soon answered when, on hearing of the need, Open Doors local partners helped build a small baptism pool in the church premises – and it’s already being put to very good use.
“We are very thankful to the partners,” says the pastor. “They have given us this as part of our prayer and request. Now we can baptise our new believing brothers and sisters freely and without any fear or panic. We can do the baptism ceremony with joy and peace, singing worship songs. No one will keep us from baptising new believers.”
“We have already baptised 49 newly converted brothers and sisters,” continues Pastor Habib, who could not stop smiling as he thanked the partners, such is his overwhelming joy. “We now do our baptism ceremony without any trouble. We sing songs and conduct our ceremony without hindrances from Muslims. This really is a great experience and a joyful time.
“Before, I used to baptise people with fear,” he adds. “I always thought of persecution in my mind. I thought someone might see our baptism ceremony and the mob might resist us. I know how difficult it is to baptise a newly converted believer in the open place.”
The pool will continue to bring enormous blessing to the church – a blessing Pastor Habib is keen to share with other churches. “I would like to share this provision from the Lord with many other Christian brothers and sisters,” he says.
Would you like to hear more inspirational stories like this one? You can do so at Standing Strong, which this year is going regional. Eti and Abrham – who support converts from Islam in south east Asia – will be at events in Wales and London. We’d love for you to join us!
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.