Bangladesh Coronavirus (COVID-19) 31 March 2020 | Barnabas Fund

From a senior pastor with a concern for converts and their particular problems 

“Even as Bangladesh recorded its first death from COVID-19, tens of thousands of people gathered in Raipur in the south of the country to pray “healing verses” from the Quran to protect the country against the pandemic. While authorities discouraged mass gatherings, they haven’t offered much else to build confidence they are adequately responding to the crisis.

“The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) is currently the only facility with the capacity to run the coronavirus test for a country of more than 164 million. Testing is only available in the capital city, Dhaka, so the thousands who gathered to pray in Raipur, for instance, cannot be checked for the virus. There have been reports that IEDCR’s hotline is not working, but meanwhile, some hospitals are apparently refusing treatment to patients displaying symptoms.

“Countries all over the world are struggling to manage this global crisis. Bangladesh is no different. But since it is already struggling to provide a basic health care infrastructure in one of the most densely populated countries in the world, this global pandemic will be a major challenge…

“Our New Convert Believers Problem: Through our local pastors and evangelists we get the information that from our 35 churches total 476 families become jobless and have no income. From next week they will face a very pathetic life. They are going to face a food crisis, health threat and no hope. Also as they are new convert local neighbors will not give any loan or free gift of food.”