April 23, 2021
The United Nations calls the Rohingya people the “world’s most persecuted minority.” South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu says they’ve experienced apartheid. Others call their treatment ethnic cleansing.
A million Rohingya had lived in Myanmar for centuries, but the government stripped them of their citizenship, burned their villages, and killed, tortured, and raped many individuals before forcing them out of the country in 2016-2017. More than 600,000 of them now live in squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Nearly all Rohingya people are Muslims, but years of oppression and persecution have led some to seek spiritual alternatives in the camps.
Anwar sits in a dimly lit room, where he shares the story of how Jesus rescued him from tragedy. Two years ago he was a practicing Muslim who relied on alcohol and drugs to numb the pain of oppression.
But he was reached by a movement in the U.S. that brought the Gospel to Rohingya refugees. Even after angry Muslims beat him in front of his pregnant wife, he did not back down, telling his persecutors, “I am ready to die for my Lord. I don’t care what you do to me. All I ask is that when you kill me you give my body to my brothers so it can rest at the foot of the cross.”
Since then, Anwar has helped plant six churches and has seen close to 500 baptisms of Rohingya Muslims.
God is moving amidst the ravaged Rohingya as He has for other persecuted people. “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed” (Psalm 103:6).
Pray that the persecuted Rohingya refugees would hear the Gospel and find their hope and identity in Christ.
- Pray for Rohingya believers like Anwar to remain strong and bold in the face of persecution.
- Pray that God will work righteousness and justice for these oppressed people.
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