Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, in December observed its second anniversary as an independent nation.CHRISTIANITY TODAYreported the religious situation as its existed amid the hunger, confusion, and bloodshed that accompanied the nation’s birth (see February 4, 1972, issue, page 32). The following is an update based on reports by correspondents Phil Parshall and Mrs. Pip Land and on interviews with mission sources.
Bangladesh’s second birthday found the country’s minute minority of 75,000 Protestant Christians struggling to develop a solid identity and to increase numerically. The missionary force had grown substantially since the civil war days of 1971, new churches had been organized, and pockets of remarkable receptivity to the Christian message were evident.
The Churches of God mission in Bogra baptized more than 150 Bengalis last year. More than 3,500 conversions among the animistic tribespeople in the Rajshahi and Dinajpur districts have been reported over the past twenty months. Requests for Christian teaching have come from a community of 6,000 Hindus in a remote part of the land. For the first time there are believers in the 40,000-member Mogh tribe south of Chittagong, thanks to the ministry of the “Bangladesh Brigade,” a group of twenty-four Wheaton College students and adult workers. Revival has come to churches in Chandpur and Comilla.
British Baptist missionary Gwyn Lewis, who in his fourteen years in the area had never before had any direct converts, reported 110 baptisms in a four-month period last year at Dinajpur. Several new churches have been organized as a result, and others are planned. He and pastors of Bangalee churches founded years ago have been swamped with requests ...1
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