Bangladesh has a population of 161,507,206; of this number, 86.6% are Islam, 12.1% are Hindu, .9% are Buddhist, .4% are Christian. Persecution is a danger for the people of Bangladesh as well. Since 2008, reports of believers being arrested, beaten and discriminated against have become more prevalent. Pastors’ relatives, in particular, are easy targets for abuse – persecutors striking fear in hopes that they will relent of their preaching. Bangladesh is a Muslim country which has become extremely intolerant to any religion other than Islam, especially Christianity.
The government is a parliamentary democracy with strong Islamic roots. According to an article published in December 2010, Christians were not able to celebrate Christmas. Members of The United People’s Demographic Front (UPDF) threatened Christians from entering seven churches Christmas week. UPDF members said “You cannot play the harmonium, drums and sing here. You cannot even worship silently.”Often, if Christians do not recant their faith, beatings and other violent acts are to be expected regularly. For Christians, some of the worst punishment is in the form of public defilement. Neighbors, clients, friends and even family often shun and abuse those who claim Christianity.