Friends, we are sad to share that Chongya, a 16-year-old believer from a Buddhist background, committed suicide on February 7. According to a local partner with Open Doors, this tragedy was the result of the ongoing persecution he faced from his parents.
Sadly, it’s common for believers who convert from other faiths in Bangladesh to face persecution from their families, friends and the society at large. Young believers are particularly vulnerable due to their dependence on family.
Chongya and his older brother Singya (19) were born and raised as Buddhists, but came to faith in Jesus last year through their grandparents and uncles. When their parents learned of their conversion, they tried to force them back to Buddhism, but Chongya and Singya refused.
Then their parents kicked them out of their home. Recently, Chongya asked his parents for the money he had been saving and given to them for safekeeping, but instead of giving him the money, his parents verbally abused him.
A few days after, he committed suicide.
His brother, Singya, is traumatized by the unexpected death of his younger brother. He is now staying with his grandparents.
Please pray for God to comfort Singya and heal him from the trauma he has experienced. Pray he will be able to forgive his parents.
Pray for Singya to find hope to go on living and grow in his faith in Christ.
Pray for God to give wisdom to his grandparents and other believers on how best to care for and encourage him.
Pray for the church in Bangladesh, that they will stand alongside young believers so that they will not lose hope like Chongya. Pray for God to give them strength to endure persecution.
Pray for our partners as they find ways to encourage young believers who are facing persecution from family members.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.