Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide - Bangladesh: ex-imam is rejected and isolated in his own village - Open Doors UK & Ireland
19 December 2023

Bangladesh: ex-imam is rejected and isolated in his own village

Rahman and his family were once well-respected Muslims in their community – but since Rahman became a Christian, he’s lost his job and is struggling to provide for his family. Please pray for him and for Open Doors partners who are supporting him.

Rahman sits outside in a garden and faces away from the camera to protect his identity

Rahman has found practical and spiritual support through Open Doors partners, who are working with him to help him provide for his family

Rahman* (35) in Bangladesh used to be an imam (an Islamic religious teacher) in his local mosque after studying at a madrasa (Islamic school). During his ten years at the mosque, he was well-respected in his village. People sought him out for advice and wisdom, and he was well-liked. 

This all changed after Rahman met an evangelist, who encouraged him to read the Bible. Rahman was intrigued and decided to learn more about Jesus, so he enrolled in a six-month course at a theological seminary – and became a Christian! 

Rahman’s community turn against him 

But when his local community found out about his change of faith, they ousted him from the mosque and began to despise him. The mosque, where Rahman used to serve, warned the villagers not to communicate with him or do any business with him and his family. People were strongly instructed to avoid Rahman and his family because he might lead them to the Lord. 

Now working as a daily labourer, Rahman struggles to earn enough money for him and his family to survive. People frequently mock him, label him as a grave sinner, and refuse to give him any work. If he is employed and asks for his wages, the employer mocks him and says, “I will not give you any money. Do whatever you can. I would like to see who helps you.” 

“I said to them, ‘This is my last and final decision: for the rest of my life I will follow the Lord Jesus Christ” Rahman

His neighbours no longer speak to him and regard him with suspicion. Some have even directly threatened him. “Very recently, the village leaders visited my home and threatened me to renounce my faith and go back to Islam,” Rahman says. “I directly denied them. I said to them, ‘This is my last and final decision: for the rest of my life I will follow the Lord Jesus Christ. So please do not ask me to renounce.’ They became very angry and started arguing with me. The more I tried to escape, the more they became very aggressive toward me.”  

Isolated – but not alone 

Rahman feels completely cut off from his community. “Now my friends are my enemies. My relatives and neighbours hate me. I am the worst person in the village for them. I have no place in their hearts and even in the community. 

“A few days ago, my father called me to his home and when I arrived there, he suddenly became very angry and said, ‘I disown you! I abandon you! You are not my son anymore! You will get no inheritance from me. Depart from my sight!’” 

Rahman and his family are extremely isolated, and they’re struggling to find enough food. “I do not know what will happen to my children,” Rahman shares. “We do not have a church where my children can learn the Bible or grow spiritually and practise the culture of Christianity. They are growing up without proper knowledge about their faith. I do not have a Christian community to live together. This is a difficult life.” 

Open Doors partners are working with Rahman to support him and help him find a solution, as well as encouraging him with prayer and friendship. 

*Name changed for security reasons

Please pray
  • That God will protect and provide for Rahman and his family, and encourage them in their faith
  • That Rahman will find a Christian community where his children can learn more about Jesus in safety
  • For Open Doors partners as they seek to find a solution for Rahman and his family.
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