Missing Christian children found in radical madrasas in Bangladesh

September 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Asia, Bangladesh, newsletter-asia, Persecution

Children from Christian homes were taken to madrasas in Bangladesh

Children from Christian homes were taken to madrasas in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, August 13, 2012: 80 children from Christian homes in Bangladesh were taken under false pretences by mullahs (Islamic clerics) to various madrasas (Islamic boarding schools). Attempts were made to forcibly convert them to Islam. Eleven of the children have been rescued, while the whereabouts of the remaining 69 are unknown.

The children come from the Chittagong Hills of Eastern Bangladesh where their Christian faith makes them a minority and the target of overt discrimination. In January and February, the Christian parents each paid 15,000 BDT (roughly $182 CDN ) to individuals who promised to house and educate their children in nearby cities. A quality education in the Chittagong Hills is rare, and parents often do this as a way of providing a future for their children.

Parents lost communication with their children almost immediately. After months of conducting their own search, they contacted Hotline Human Rights Trust (HHRT). According to the HHRT director, the rescued children recounted acts of physical abuse when they refused to pray, read the Qur’an, or learn Arabic. The children went on to explain that they attempted to escape after being told they would be forcibly circumcised.

Thank the Lord for the children who have returned to their families and pray the missing children will be found soon. Ask the Lord to protect these children both physically and spiritually. May the Holy Spirit strengthen them through this ordeal. Pray the perpetrators will be brought to justice and the families in this area of Bangladesh will have other ways of providing an education for their children.

– icc

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