According to reports from Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a ministry to the persecuted church around the world, violence against Christians in Bangladesh is on the rise. One case in point is a recent Muslim conspiracy to take the life of a Christian.
Last spring, four drivers of four different buses were hired by a Muslim group to crash in to a Bangladeshi Christian's sport utility vehicle. The victim of this plot, a man being referred to as "Andrew," was on his way to visit 17 families who recently converted from Islam to Christianity.
Andrew was rammed by a bus while in the front passenger seat of his moving vehicle. His left elbow was broken, and his right forearm was embedded with glass and severely lacerated.
Voice of the Martyrs' Todd Nettleton says this case is an example of the sort of persecution Christians in the region are facing. "This was not an accident," he points out. "This was attempted murder against an outspoken, brave, bold Christian witness in Bangladesh, a man who has shared Christ with many, many Muslims and has a fabulous ministry there."
In fact, Nettleton contends, that ministry is the very reason the attack was carried out. He says the attempt on Andrew's life was an orchestrated effort by radical Muslims who were upset over the Christian man's witnessing efforts.
"This man we're calling Andrew is right at the front lines," the VOM spokesman explains. "I have been in his home, have visited with him and met some of the Muslims that he has shared Jesus with who were not Christians, but who are now witnessing to Muslims and sharing their [Christian] faith."
In any kind of battle, casualties are to be expected, and what is going on in Bangladesh is "definitely a spiritual battle," Nettleton maintains. "We are so thankful that God protected Andrew and kept him alive through this collision," he says, "and we're looking forward to seeing him restored to full health."
This is not the first attempt on Andrew's life, Nettleton adds, and if conditions in Bangladesh do not improve soon, this attack may not be the last. Nevertheless, he says Andrew is reportedly very anxious to recover so he can continue his ministry to the Muslims in his area.
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