Bangladesh

World Watch Ranking: 29

How many Christians are there in Bangladesh?

There are around 1,103,000 Christians in Bangladesh, a tiny 0.6% of a population of 171 million.

What does persecution look like in Bangladesh?

Bangladeshi Christians who have converted from a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or tribal background suffer the most severe restrictions, discrimination and attacks. They often gather in small house churches or meet secretly in groups due to fear of attack.

Tribal Christians, like those from the Santal people group, are doubly vulnerable to persecution (as they belong to both an ethnic and religious minority). They are often the victims of land-grabbing or targeted violence.

Other churches are frequently threatened, watched and, at times, violently attacked.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

Christians don't just face persecution from Islamic extremists in Bangladesh, but also from militants belonging to other faiths. Bangladesh's northern region and Chittagong Hill Tracts are often overlooked hotspots for persecution against Christians at the hands of both the Muslim majority and the Buddhist minority.

The arrival of 700,000 Rohingya refugees from neighboring Myanmar in the past four years has led to thousands of people living in refugee camps, and repatriation or integration efforts have constantly stalled. There is a large risk of Islamic radicalization in these camps, which is concerning for Christians living in them, as well as the wider community.

Meet "Pastor Swapan"

Pastor Swapan's church (which is also an orphanage) was viciously attacked during the night by Hindu extremists.

“We have been enduring and praying for God to protect us.”

Pastor Swapan

What has changed compared to last year?

Attacks against church buildings have continued across Bangladesh—and the authorities frequently ignore complaints when Christians bring them. Bangladesh has risen significantly on the World Watch List in the past few years, and violence is increasing.

What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Bangladesh?

Open Doors works through local church partners to strengthen persecuted believers in Bangladesh through biblical training, Bible distribution, literacy and socio-economic development projects, and emergency relief aid.

How can you pray for Bangladesh?

  • Pray for wisdom for Open Doors local partners as they support persecuted believers in Bangladesh, and for energy and creativity as they carry out their work.
  • Pray that Bangladeshi believers will find ways to meet to worship together and build one another up in fellowship.
  • Pray for church attacks to cease and for churches to be places to safely worship God. 
a prayer for Bangladesh

Dear Lord, protect our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh, we pray. May they see Your goodness and mercy, and have opportunities to share with others the joy of knowing You. Bless Open Doors partners as they support the persecuted church and bring glory to Your name in Bangladesh. Amen.  


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Map thumbnail
Persecution Level

Very High


Persecution Type
  • Dictatorial paranoia
  • Islamic oppression
  • Religious nationalism
  • Ethno-religious hostility
Population of Christians
1,103,000 (OD estimate)

Main Religion
Islam

Government
Parliamentary Democracy

Leader
President Abdul Hamid