The Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA RLC) carries out annual training seminars on advocacy and the Biblical theology of persecution in restricted countries across Asia. These seminars are conducted to strengthen and equip persecuted Christians to withstand opposition and oppression.
This year the WEA RLC held its annual training seminar on Advocacy and the Biblical Theology of Persecution in Bangladesh. The 3 day seminar was held from the 11-13 of November in Dhaka.
The seminar was, however, conducted amidst much difficulty as it coincided a violent general strike launched by the country’s main opposition party.
The religious liberty situation in Bangladesh has been in steady decline over the past year. Radical Islamists have led violent protests demanding the nation’s Islamization including demands to change the country’s constitution to inculcate tighter blasphemy laws. Rising religious tensions have also resulted in minority Christians being targeted in violent attacks.
This year the WEA RLC opened its national training seminar for participants from other restricted countries in the region such as Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka as well.
In total over 50 Christian leaders from across 4 restricted countries attended the seminar. Amongst them were – pastors, Christian leaders, young Christian activists and lawyers.
The trainings were on the Biblical Theology of Persecution, Advocacy and Human rights, UN mechanisms, How to face adversity and persecution and Intercession for the persecuted church worldwide.
We give praise and honour to the Lord who moved in a marvelous way during the 3 days of training. We believe the participants were equipped and empowered through the seminar to better handle pressure and persecution. Many who felt defeated by persecution were reinvigorated to live a victorious life in Christ. Many others were inspired to be advocates for social justice and human rights. The seminar was also an encouragement to persecuted pastors who were contemplating leaving their ministries because of the stern opposition they were facing in their communities.
Feedback from participants:
“Right after school, while I was still a Hindu, I enrolled as a law student at university. However, a year and a half on, I had to drop out as I could not afford the tuition cost. I then became a Christian. A few years later, God called me into full time ministry. The dream to study law never died though. I always had a burden to speak up for injustices that were happening in Bangladesh. Through this seminar I believe God affirmed to me that I should pursue my passion to be a Christian lawyer. I have decided that I will complete my legal studies and be an advocate for the Christian community in Bangladesh.”
“There was very good Biblical teaching at the seminar. The Church has benefited from this immensely. I am grateful to WEA RLC for holding this seminar in Bangladesh. We needed this in our country during this difficult period.”
Michael Routh, Youth leader, Dhaka
“Thank you for inviting me for this seminar. I have benefitted greatly. The biblical theology of persecution is a very important topic for us. I minister to persecuted Christians living in Kachin. I will definitely take back this knowledge and use it to bless my fellow brothers and sisters who face persecution. Topics such as Advocacy and Human rights were also very useful. We need this type of training in Myanmar as well.
I thank you for conducting this seminar and would like to invite the WEA RLC to Myanmar to carry out this same training.”
Rev. Naing Than, Director, Religious Liberty Commission, Myanmar Evangelical Christian Fellowship
WEA Religious Liberty Commission
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