Shahjahan Mollah, 35, lives in the village of Butia about 120 miles north of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Shahjahan, a former Muslim, converted to Christianity in 1991. He currently pastors a church of some 27 Muslim converts to Christianity in Butia.
Shahjahan’s conversion to Christianity came with a heavy price. “When I became a Christian, I had to leave my family,” Shahjahan told Christian Freedom International. “My family hated me because I converted. They forced me to leave the house. I lose my inheritance. I had so much pressure from the Muslim society; I had to hide in a faraway district.”
Currently, Shahjahan takes incredible risks to pastor his small church. He told Christian Freedom International, “Still in our house church we cannot sing or pray too loud, we can’t have big groups. When we pray too loud or sing too loud, the Muslims from the area force us to stop. They destroy our Bibles and our song books. Sometimes they come in with sticks threatening to beat us. We never feel safe to practice our faith.”
Like other converts to Christianity, Shahjahan prays for religious freedom in Bangladesh, especially for minority Christians. “I would like to pray to the Lord that we would have the opportunity to serve the Lord without fear to practice our religion,” Shahjahan said. “Practicing our religion, we must be so silent and secret, we feel so insecure. We want freedom of religion. We don’t want persecution.”
Shahjahan told Christian Freedom International, “I would to request to Christians in America that I am your brother in Christ. You are living in free country, but we are not free here. Please pray for us that we can practice our religion like you can in America.”
Christian Freedom International president Jim Jacobson is urging the government of Bangladesh to stop the persecution of Muslim converts to Christianity. “Bangladesh must stop the persecution of minority Christians,” said Jacobson. “The country, by all accounts, is spiraling rapidly downward into the hands of Islamic extremists. Christians are not safe here, especially Muslims who convert to Christianity.”
Christian Freedom International is also urging the U.S. government to condemn the mistreatment of Muslim converts to Christianity in Bangladesh.
Christian Freedom International (CFI) is an interdenominational human rights organization for religious liberty. For more information or interviews, contact Christian Freedom International at 540-636-8907 or visit online at www.christianfreedom.org.
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