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29 October 2020

Pastor and wife in Bangladesh beaten in attack that leaves home and church destroyed

Please could you pray for a pastor and his wife in Bangladesh after they were senselessly attacked by a gang of some 25 people, believed to be over a land dispute. Their house and church were also destroyed. They continue to be threatened with further reprisals.

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The house of Pastor Badal and his wife that was demolished and burnt

Imagine your peaceful Sunday evening being brutally interrupted by a large gang of attackers. They’re armed with axes and machetes, intent on beating you and destroying not just your home but your church.

That’s exactly what happened to Pastor Badal Day and his wife in northeastern Bangladesh – all because of a land dispute. 

The gang ignored Badal’s pleas

The gang of some 25 attackers arrived at the couple’s home at around 8pm on Sunday 18 October. “We, Christians, are a minority here,” Pastor Badal Day pleaded with them. “We are not against anybody. Please do not do this. Please have mercy on us.” Despite this, both Pastor Badal (57) and his wife Josna Rani Day (50) were beaten up.  

"I begged them not to destroy the church..." Pastor Badal

The gang ransacked the house, breaking all the possessions they could find. Then they turned their attentions to the nearby church, breaking down the door, smashing the windows and destroying the pulpit. As if that wasn’t enough, they set fire to the church and to Pastor Badal’s house.

The pastor appealed to the attackers not to destroy his house and the church, but they wouldn’t stop. “I begged them not to destroy the church,” he explains. “I begged, holding their legs, saying, ‘Please, do not attack the church. We worship here.’ But they refused to listen to me.”

Before leaving, the perpetrators issued a fresh warning. “You leave this place by tonight,” they said. “If we see you here tomorrow, then you will be killed. Leave this place soon if you want to survive.” 

All because of a land dispute 

Pastor Badal later discovered that the gang were acting on the orders of a powerful local political leader. The politician had aggressively occupied a portion of the pastor’s land a few years ago when he built a mill on his land. The pastor had tried to reclaim the portion back but failed; instead, he was threatened for taking legal action. 

The pastor believes that they are trying to forcefully grab all his land. He has informed the local police. At first, they did not want to file the case, presumably because of the politician’s power, but later they agreed to it. 

Pastor Badal and his wife are currently living in a small tent, at the corner of their broken house. He continues to receive threatening, anonymous calls telling him to not proceed with the case, otherwise they will suffer greater repercussions.

Worsening persecution and Bijli’s story 

Bangladesh has risen 10 places in the World Watch List this year, reflecting worsening persecution in all spheres of life. Radical Islamic groups are growing in influence, further exposing minority groups such as Christians (who make up just 0.5% of the 168 million population) to persecution.

"Mother, they have beaten me. They don’t allow us to join in with them." Bijli

Converts to Christianity from other faiths – usually Islam – are especially vulnerable to family and community ostracism. This includes 10-year-old Bijli, whose name we have changed for security reasons. Sometimes she comes home crying because her ‘friends’ have attacked her. “Mother, they have beaten me,” she says to her mother. “They don’t allow us to join in with them.”

Your generosity last year meant she and her family could enjoy celebrating Christmas with around 100 other Christian families from Muslim backgrounds – the first time many had experienced Christian fellowship.

Please pray
  • For the safety, protection and encouragement of Pastor Badal and his wife, and that there will be no further threats or attacks
  • That the local police will take decisive action against the perpetrators and help the couple get justice
  • That all Christian families this Christmas will experience the joy of fellowship with other Christians.
Please give
  • A gift of £42 could provide a Christmas present for a persecuted child to let them know that their church family loves them.
  • Every £70 could help the Colombia Children’s Centre provide protection, care and education to a child of a persecuted church leader.

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