We shared Tabitha and Mamun’s testimonies from Bangladesh, as well as some of their ministry in two previous posts. This family of five has faced much persecution over the years – beatings, stalking, death threats – but nothing compares to this: The rape of their daughter.
Mamun* and Tabitha*’s daughter, Anna*, was gang raped by a group of six radical Muslims, led by a local grocer. She was 14. The men made clear that they were raping her specifically because her parents were Christians who converted others. They grabbed her while she was walking home from market.
In the following months, the whole family saw even more persecution because of taking the case to the police. The police would not do anything, both out of prejudice against Christians, and fear of the radical Muslims in their community.
This horrific event, which took place in early 2011 continues to affect their lives, even four years later. We praise God that Anna, who needed extensive medical attention, has since recovered physically from the attack. Mamun and Tabitha wrote this about the continued aftermath of the situation, “The relatives of the men who raped [Anna] threaten us from leaving the house. They tell us not to send our child to school or college and that it would be dangerous until we withdraw the case against the men from court or dismiss it through papers….Though the case is a rape accusation, it has led to a bigger issue by creating a partition between Christians and Muslims. For this reason, neighbors have placed serious pressures on our family, restricting our movements. Threats began because of my daughter and now continue because we are Christians…In April , my daughter and I were coming back from the market when we encountered Muslims who demanded that we withdraw the case from the courts. They threatened to inflict more suffering on my family if we did not withdraw the case….They watch our movements like dogs.”
But Christ has His way, and this is what Mamun and his family are able to say, “So, we pass every day with this threat, but we believe in Jesus that He will save us because according to Joshua 1:8-9, ‘The Lord is our strength’, and we are depending on that. So, pray for us and others like us, please”.
In recent months, Harvest Bridge has been immensely blessed by the work of Voice of the Martyrs, who were able to provide retroactive support for Anna’s medical bills, as well as a motorbike for Mamun and Tabitha to use in ministry. When the attack happened, the family sold their cows, as well as their marriage dowry, and took out loans.
Their church family gave what they could. VOM’s gift is a God given blessing, and one that continues the work of the Gospel. They also provided motorbikes for four other church planters; you can read their thank you on the VOM blog.
Again, the persecution this family has faced has not stopped their ministry, and in three years Tabitha and Mamun have led over 330 individuals to Christ, and baptized most of them. They have planted numerous churches, discipled new leaders, and continue to care for the poor. Men and women like this godly couple are who you support through Harvest Bridge.