Official aid often isn't reaching vulnerable Christians in Bangladesh. Thanks to the prayers and gifts of Open Doors supporters, our partners have been able to deliver vital food - and believers in Bangladesh share their heartfelt thanks.
Persecuted Christians in Bangladesh are giving thanks for food aid from Open Doors while none is forthcoming from the government.
Bangladeshi Christians receiving urgent aid
Despite the Bangladesh government announcing a huge aid package for the poor during the Covid-19 crisis, Christians are unlikely to receive much of this help. Locally-elected chairmen, members of the government party, and ruling political leaders have been appointed as representatives to identify needy people in various areas and distribute aid among them, in the form of cash aid, distribution of goods, ration cards for free rice, highly discounted prices, and much more. Unfortunately, instead of distributing this aid among the poor, most of the local representatives and agents have taken the goods for themselves. Though many of them have been arrested, and others fined, misappropriation is still taking place.
An Open Doors local partner explained, “Most of the poor people have received their ration cards from the government and they are able to collect government rice for free, but the Christians do not get these ration cards. Even when the local representatives distributed goods to the poor people, the Christians did not get anything.”
“The poor believers are starving,” another field partner shared. “Some of them have resorted to borrowing from money lenders, who charge very high interest. Some of them took advances for their labour. But the rich are taking this as an opportunity to cheat.”
But, thanks to your support, Open Doors partners have been able to reach hundreds of families so far, providing non-perishables such as rice, potatoes, salt, oil, and dahl. A local partner said, “Some of them asked me who donated these goods. When I told them that they are believers like us and they are praying for us every day, tears ran down their faces. They become very emotional and very happy.”
Harun, another local partner added, “They (the beneficiaries) see this aid as a gift from God. They have realised that they have friends, brothers and sisters who love them and are praying for them from other parts of the earth.”
Another Open Doors partner, Pikul, shared, “One of the beneficiaries called me over the phone, after a couple of hours of receiving relief. He said with happiness to me, ‘Brother, I have just cooked the food that I got from you and now we will eat together with the family’. He added that he does not have words to express gratefulness for such help.”
On receiving the food, Masur, a local believer, shared, “This is a great help and great blessing for us. We were starving and praying, asking God for help. God heard our prayers. Thank you very much.”
Bikash, who also received support, said, “I have been praying for help and God replied on time. I am very happy. Thank you.”
Lovllu, too, said, “I am very happy and grateful for the support. Thank you for extending your love to us. You are a great friend in times of need. God bless you abundantly.”
Some of these people walked long distances to get this support. “We live in a remote area. said Arun, who also received support. “Nobody cared for us; nobody came to us – but suddenly you came and supported us. I am very happy. Thank you. God bless you abundantly.”
There is still a huge need in Bangladesh. A large number of the believers are poor, working as labourers who earn a daily income. Almost every day, Christians and church leaders from different parts of the country are calling over the phone and requesting prayer and help for their brothers and sisters.
Despite the growing needs and challenges, Open Doors will continue to support our partners in the field to help our persecuted family with goods, prayers, and more. We are also finding other ways to help them face the possibility of the further extension of movement restrictions.
A prayer for our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh
Jesus, Lord of life and resurrection, thank You that You are supplying Your people’s needs through the generosity of Your servants around the world. In Your mercy, grant Your protection and provision daily to our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh. Give them the ability to stay calm towards those who discriminate against them. Energise the hearts and minds of local representatives so that they distribute aid fairly. And hasten the day when the virus is no longer a threat.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.