World Convention is currently building a global reference for the countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 165. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 194 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.
Rather than waiting for comprehensive, complete information we are putting up the details we have available. If you can correct or add to this information, please contact the World Convention Office with details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is bordered by the Republic of India to its north, west and east, by Myanmar (Burma) to its southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to its south. Its population in 2012 was over 161 million. The capital, Dhaka, has over 15 million.
Located in the Ganges Delta, Bangladesh gained independence in 1971 from Pakistan after a year-long armed struggle. Bangladesh’s low-lying geography and many rivers make it vulnerable to typhoons and cyclones, with subsequent tidal surges leading to widespread flooding. Cyclones in 1970 and 1991 caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and billions of dollars of damage.
Bangladesh has developed its economy since the 1990s, and is now considered one of the countries that will be a future economic power. Despite this, many Bangladeshis still experience significant poverty and there have been incidents of workers (particularly in the garment industry) being exploited. Overpopulation, industrial pollution and the urban slums of Dhaka and Chittagong pose problems. The January 2014 general election was boycotted by the opposition and was regarded as illegitimate, causing tensions to rise.
Islam, 89%, Hinduism 8%, Buddhism 1% , Christianity 0.5%.
In 1984, Charles F. Scott from American Churches of Christ came to Bangladesh where he converted James Swapon Chowdhury and Michael A. and Rebecca Shah. The Shahs continue to minister and plant churches, so that today there are churches in Dhaka, Nogaon, Khulna, Jessore, Mymensingh & Gopalganj, led by local ministers. See http://www.church-of-christ-bangladesh.co.nr/.
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has a partnership with the National Council of Churches of Bangladesh, the Church of Bangladesh, and the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh.
International Churches of Christ have a congregation in Dhaka.
Central India Christian Mission works in Bangladesh.
Global Mission Partners of Australian Churches of Christ partners with the Bandarban Hills Churches of Christ, a collection of small churches in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a few hours’ drive from Chittagong. They face difficulties because they are a minority twice over – Christians in a Muslim setting and indigenous Bawm people in a Bengali population. Tensions are magnified with an increase in Bengali settlers. Travel for foreigners in and to this region can be difficult.
Our partners in these lush hills have little in terms of material resources, but they have much in terms of courage, faithfulness and compassion. The churches have a passion for outreach, particularly to the Mru people, where there have been baptisms and professions of faith. The churches also provide educational support for students through two hostels.
Bangladesh at a glance
Population: 163 million
Capital: Dhaka (15 million – estimates vary)
Life expectancy: 68.9 years
Languages: Bangla (official); English
Religion: 90% Muslim, 9% Hindu.
Living below the poverty line: 31%
GDP Per Capita: $747 (US)
Created by Gary Holloway September 12, 2013; revised February 5, 2014