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Christianity in Bangladesh

Christianity in Bangladesh

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Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 arrived in what is now Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 during the late sixteenth to early seventeenth century AD, through the Portuguese traders and missionaries. Christians account for approximately 0.3% of the total population. Christianity's first contact with the Indian subcontinent is attributed to Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is best known for questioning Jesus' resurrection when first told of it, then proclaiming "My Lord and my God" on seeing Jesus in . He was perhaps the only Apostle who went outside the Roman...

, who is said to have preached in Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

. Although Jesuit priests were active at the Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 courts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the first Roman Catholic settlements in Bangladesh appear to have been established by the Portuguese, coming from their center in Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

 on the west coast of India. During the sixteenth century the Portuguese settled in the vicinity of Chittagong
Chittagong
Chittagong ) is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.A trading...

, where they were active in piracy
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 and slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. In the seventeenth century some Portuguese moved to Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

.

Serious Protestant missionary efforts began only in the first half of the nineteenth century. Baptist missionary activities beginning in 1816, the Anglican Oxford Mission, and others worked mainly among the tribal peoples of the Low Hills in the northern parts of Mymensingh
Mymensingh
Mymensingh , pronounced moy-mon-shing-haw, is a city of Bangladesh situated on the river Brahmaputra. It is the headquarters of the administrative unit Mymensingh District. Mymensingh is the anglicized pronunciation of the original name Momenshahi, referring to a ruler called Momen Shah. The cadet...

 and Sylhet
Sylhet
Sylhet , is a major city in north-eastern Bangladesh. It is the main city of Sylhet Division and Sylhet District, and was granted metropolitan city status in March 2009. Sylhet is located on the banks of the Surma Valley and is surrounded by the Jaintia, Khasi and Tripura hills...

. Many of the Christian churches, schools, and hospitals were initially set up to serve the European community. They subsequently became centers of missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 activities, particularly among the lower caste Hindus.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs
Ministry of Religious Affairs
Ministry of Religious Affairs may refer to :*Ministry of Religious Affairs *Ministry of Religious Affairs *Ministry of Religious Affairs *Ministry of Religious Affairs *Ministry of Religious Affairs...

 provided assistance and support to the Christian institutions in the country. In the late 1980s, the government was not imposing any restrictions on the legitimate religious activities of the missions and the communities. Mission schools and hospitals were well attended and were used by members of all religions. The Christian community usually enjoyed better opportunities for education and a better standard of living. In the late 1980s, Christianity had about 600,000 adherents, mainly Roman Catholic, and their numbers were growing rapidly.

Early history


Renowned Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 rounded the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 in 1498 and landed at Calicut
History of Kozhikode
Kozhikode , also known as Calicut, is a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is the third largest city in Kerala and the headquarters of Kozhikode district....

  (present Kozikode of India) by discovering the sea-route to India. From 1500 onwards, the Portuguese established their power first in Cranganore, then to Cochin and Goa. With these traders and commercial opportunists, also came Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

, Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

, Augustinian, and Jesuit missionaries to bring Indians to Christianity. From 1517 onwards, Portuguese traders from Goa were traversing the sea-route to Bengal but were not successful in establishing trading posts in this part of India. Only in 1537 were they allowed to settle and open customs houses at Satgaon (near Hooghly) in West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

 and Chittagong. In 1577, Mughal emperor
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 Akbar permitted the Portuguese to build permanent settlements and churches in Bengal. After the Portuguese intermarried with local women or converted native Bengali people, their descendants became the first generation of indigenous Christians in Bangladesh. Additional locals converted to Christianity from Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

.

Timeline


In the 16th century, Portuguese traders brought Christianity to Bangladesh through the port of Chittagong, called the Porto Grande or the Great Port.
The first church in Bangladesh was built in 1599 at Chandecan (also called Iswaripur or old Jessore) near Kaliganj
Kaliganj
Kaliganj is an administrative division in Krishnanagar Sadar subdivision of Nadia district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Kaliganj police station serves this block...

 in the Sundarbans of present Satkhira district.
  • 1599: Father Francisco Fernandez
    Francisco Fernández
    Francisco Fernández may refer to:* Francisco Javier Fernández , Spanish race walker* Francisco Fernández Ordóñez , Spanish politician* Francisco Fernández Ochoa , Spanish alpine skier...

     went to Chandecan in October, and with permission of Maharaja Pratapaditya built a church and a rectory
    Rectory
    A rectory is the residence, or former residence, of a rector, most often a Christian cleric, but in some cases an academic rector or other person with that title...

     there. This new church, called the "Holy Name of Jesus", was officially dedicated on January 1, 1600, when the King himself was present at the ceremony.
  • 1600: The second church, called "Calvery United Methodist" was built in Chittagong on June 24 by Fathers Francisco Fernandez and Andre Boves with financial assistance from the King of Arakan
    Rakhine State
    Rakhine State is a Burmese state. Situated on the western coast, it is bordered by Chin State in the north, Magway Region, Bago Region and Ayeyarwady Region in the east, the Bay of Bengal to the west, and the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh to the northwest. It is located approximately between...

    .
  • 1601: At the invitation of Portuguese merchants, Dominican Fathers Gaspar da Assumpsao and Melchior da Luz went to Diang (Dianga), south-east of Chittagong on the Karnaphuli River
    Karnaphuli River
    Karnaphuli is a wide river in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh. Originating from the Lushai hills in Mizoram, India, it flows southwest through Chittagong Hill Tracts and Chittagong into the Bay of Bengal. A large hydroelectric power plant using Karnaphuli river was built in the Kaptai...

    , and built the third church (chapel) there. When the Arakanese attacked, the chapel was burnt down and missionaries were manhandled, after which the Dominicans left.
  • 1602: Francisco Fernandez tried to save some Portuguese children from the Arakanese who had made them slaves. The Arakanese were so enraged that they captured Fernandez, beat him and placed him in chains in a dark prison. He died there on November 14, 1602 becoming the first Christian martyr in the territory comprising present Bangladesh.
  • 1608: Islam Khan, the Mughal Subedar
    Subedar
    Subedar is a historical rank in the Indian Army, ranking below British commissioned officers and above non-commissioned officers. The rank was otherwise equivalent to a British lieutenant and was introduced in the East India Company's presidency armies, to make it easier for British officers to...

     of Bengal, made Dhaka—previously a mere military outpost—the capital of Bengal. This was followed by progress and prosperity in business attracting Portuguese, Dutch
    Dutch people
    The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

    , French
    French people
    The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

     and English
    English people
    The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

     merchants.
  • 1612: Portuguese Augustinian missionaries introduced Christianity in Dhaka.
  • 1628: The same missionaries established a church, called the "Church of the Assumption", in the Narinda area of the city.

  • 1695: The church of St. Nicholas of Tolentino was constructed at Nagori, 25 kilometres north-east of Dhaka.
  • 1764: Portuguese missionaries built a church at Padrishibpur in Barisal district
    Barisal District
    Barisal is a district in southern Bangladesh. It is also the headquarters of Barisal Division.-Geography and climate:Latitude: 22.75, Longitude: 90.36, Altitude: 4....

    . Another Portuguese church was built at Hashnabad, 30 kilometres south-west of Dhaka, in 1777.

Roman Catholics


In 1682, there were 14,120 Roman Catholics in Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. As the Bangladeshi
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s have Arabic and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 surnames, so do the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

-converted Catholics or Catholics of Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 blood have Portuguese surnames, such as Gomes, Rozario, D'Costa, Purification, Gonsalvez, Cruze, Daes, D’Silva, D’Souza etc.. To recognize Catholics by names, the missionaries used to give one Christian name and one of their surnames to the newly-baptized person. The later Catholic missionaries from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, USA, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 did not follow the Portuguese in naming the new Christians. They gave one Christian name but did not change the surname of the newly converted. Presently, the Catholic Church has six dioceses—Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

, Chittagong
Chittagong
Chittagong ) is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.A trading...

, Dinajpur
Dinajpur
The Dinajpur District was split between India and Bangladesh. The term can refer to the following:* Dinajpur District, Bangladesh** In the district, there is the Upazila of Dinajpur Sadar* West Dinajpur district, India. It was split on 1992-04-01 into:...

, Khulna
Khulna
Khulna is the third largest city in Bangladesh. It is located on the banks of the Rupsha and Bhairab rivers in Khulna District. It is the divisional headquarters of Khulna Division and a major industrial and commercial center. It has a seaport named Mongla on its outskirts, 38 km from Khulna...

, Mymensingh
Mymensingh
Mymensingh , pronounced moy-mon-shing-haw, is a city of Bangladesh situated on the river Brahmaputra. It is the headquarters of the administrative unit Mymensingh District. Mymensingh is the anglicized pronunciation of the original name Momenshahi, referring to a ruler called Momen Shah. The cadet...

, and Rajshahi
Rajshahi
The city of Rajshahi is the divisional headquarters of Rajshahi division as well as the administrative district that bears its name and is one of the six metropolitan cities of Bangladesh. Often referred to as Silk City and Education City, Rajshahi is located in the north-west of the country and...

—with a Catholic population of about 221,000, more than 70 parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 churches, 200 priests, 50 brothers, 700 nun
Nun
A nun is a woman who has taken vows committing her to live a spiritual life. She may be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live her life in prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent...

s, 1,000 catechists, and many educational, healthcare, and welfare institutions and organizations.

Protestants


William Carey was a Protestant missionary who arrived at Serampore in West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

 in 1793. This Englishman heralded the new missionary era in Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

. Many Protestant organizations have since established themselves in the country:
  • 1793: Baptist Missionary Society (British)
  • 1805: Church Missionary Society (British)
  • 1862: Council for World Mission (British Presbyterian)
  • 1882: Australian Baptist Mission
  • 1886: New Zealand Baptist Mission
  • 1895: Oxford Mission (British Anglican)
  • 1905: Churches of God (American)
  • 1919: Seventh-day Adventists
  • 1945: Assemblies of God
  • 1956: Santal Mission (Lutheran)
  • 1957: Bangladesh Mission of the Southern Baptist Convention American
  • 1958: Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (American)
  • 2007: Bangladesh Evangelical Church


After the Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 in 1971, there was a new influx of Protestant missionary societies into Bangladesh. Besides evangelism
Evangelism
Evangelism refers to the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. The term is often used in reference to Christianity....

, these societies have also established and run various educational, healthcare, and welfare institutions. At present, the number of Protestants in Bangladesh is estimated to be around 150,000.

Contributions


Christians contributed immensely in the field of Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

 literature. Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 missionary Fr. Manuel da Assumpsao wrote Kripar Shastrer Orthobhed, which was printed in 1743 in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, in the Roman alphabet. It was a catechism in the question-answer form. He also wrote a 40-page Bengali grammar book and a 529-page Bengali-Portuguese and Portuguese-Bengali dictionary
Dictionary
A dictionary is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often listed alphabetically, with usage information, definitions, etymologies, phonetics, pronunciations, and other information; or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, also known as a lexicon...

, called Vocabulario em Idioma Bengulla-e-Portuguez, divided em duas Partes. Dom Antonio da Rozario, a local Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 jomidar (squire) converted by the Portuguese, was successful in making mass conversions (20,000 to 30,000) among low-caste Hindus in the region north of Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

. He wrote Brahman-Roman Catholic Sambad, where a Roman Catholic dialogues with a Hindu Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 and attempts to show the superiority of Christianity over Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

.

William Carey
William Carey
William Carey was an English Baptist missionary and a Reformed Baptist minister, known as the "father of modern missions." Carey was one of the founders of the Baptist Missionary Society...

 translated and printed the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 in Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

, as well as writing many other books and a dictionary, called A Dictionary of the Bengali Language. He also helped develop Bengali type faces for printing and established Serampore Mission and College in addition to publishing newspapers and periodicals. His colleagues Dr. John Thomas, William Ward, Felix Carey (his son), John Pearson, and others also left their contributions in Bengali literature. Carey also developed the Bengal school system. Recently, two Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 Italian Xaverian missionaries— Fathers Marino Rigon and Silvano Garello— have been translating many works of 1913 Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore , sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature...

, Kazi Nazrul Islam
Kazi Nazrul Islam
Kazi Nazrul Islam , sobriquet Bidrohi Kobi, was a Bengali poet, musician and revolutionary who pioneered poetic works espousing intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. His poetry and nationalist activism earned him the popular title of Bidrohi Kobi...

, Jasimuddin
Jasimuddin
Jasimuddin was a renowned Bengali poet, songwriter, prose writer, folklore collector and radio personality. He is commonly known in Bangladesh as Polli Kobi, the Rural Poet for his faithful rendition of Bangla folklore in his works...

 and others into Italian. Their books have created an increasing interest of the Italians for Bengali literature and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

.

The Churches in Bangladesh have worked in the fields of merciful activities such as education and medicare for all mainly the poor, underprivileged, and helpless. In a country where over 99% of the population is Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist, running such educational and welfare institutions and organizations under a Christian banner remains difficult.

After the Bangladesh Liberation War, the missionaries sent by Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa , born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu , was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950...

 were the first organizations to enter Bangladesh after 1971 to help the victims. Many of these missionaries have established offices in Bangladesh and still operate independently. These missionaries along with many other contribute actively during flood and various cyclones in the coastal region.

Prominent Bangladeshi Christians


Though small in number, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

i Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s have made a significant contribution to Bangladesh since independence in 1971.
  • Patrick D'Rozario
    Patrick D'Rozario
    Patrick D'Rozario is the Catholic Archbishop of the archdiocese of Dhaka, making him the highest ranked priest of the Roman Catholic Church in Bangladesh....

    , Archbishop
    Archbishop
    An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

     of the Roman Catholic Church of Bangladesh
  • Michael Rosario, former Archbishop of Bangladesh
  • The music director Samar Das
    Samar Das
    Samar Das was a Bangladeshi musician and composer, from Dhaka. He became one of the most important music directors in Pakistan and subsequently Bangladesh and was the composer of over 2,000 songs. -Early life:...

    , led the creation of the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra
    Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra
    Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra was a radio broadcasting centre in the Indian city of Kolkata during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. This station played a vital role in increasing mental state of Bangladeshis during the war. In 1971, radio was the only media reaching to the far ends of...

     ("Free Bengal Radio") during the Bangladesh Liberation War
    Bangladesh Liberation War
    The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

     and orchestrated and notated the National Anthem
    National anthem
    A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.- History :Anthems rose to prominence...

     of the new country, Tagore's "Amar Sonar Bangla", enabling it to be recorded and played by orchestra
    Orchestra
    An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

    s around the world.
  • Barrister
    Barrister
    A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

     Cyril Shikder was a former ambassador
    Ambassador
    An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

     of Bangladesh
    Bangladesh
    Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

     to Nepal
    Nepal
    Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

    .
  • Michael Madhusudan Dutt
    Michael Madhusudan Dutt
    Michael Madhusudan Dutt or Michael Madhusudan Dutta was a popular 19th century Bengali poet and dramatist. He was born in Sagardari , on the bank of Kopotaksho [কপোতাক্ষ] River, a village in Keshobpur Upozila, Jessore District, East Bengal . His father was Rajnarayan Dutt, an eminent lawyer, and...

    , (1824–1873), born Modhushudon Dotto, was a famous 19th century Bengali poet
    Poet
    A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

     and dramatist. He was born in the village Shaagordaari, Jessore District
    Jessore District
    Jessore is a district located in the Khulna Division of southwestern Bangladesh. It is bordered by India to the west.The district produces a variety of crops year-round. Date-sugar called patali is made from the sap of locally grown date trees that is cooked, thickened and crystallised using a...

    . Modhushudon was known as the father of the Bangla Sonnet
    Sonnet
    A sonnet is one of several forms of poetry that originate in Europe, mainly Provence and Italy. A sonnet commonly has 14 lines. The term "sonnet" derives from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning "little song" or "little sound"...

    . Modhushudon convert
    Convert
    The convert or try, in American football known as "point after", and Canadian football "Point after touchdown", is a one-scrimmage down played immediately after a touchdown during which the scoring team is allowed to attempt to score an extra one point by kicking the ball through the uprights , or...

    ed to Christianity, taking the Christian name of Michael.
  • Michael Shushil Odhikari (1924–97) was a social worker, former President of Bangladesh Baptist
    Baptist
    Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

     Shongho, and former NGO advisor to the Government of Bangladesh during the presidency of Lieutenant General
    Lieutenant General
    Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

     Hossain Mohammad Ershad
    Hossain Mohammad Ershad
    Lieutenant General Hussain Muhammad Ershad is a Bangladeshi politician who was President of Bangladesh from 1983 to 1990. Previously, he was Chief of Staff of the Bangladesh Army and then Chief Martial Law Administrator in 1982....

  • Tapan Chowdhury
    Tapan Chowdhury
    Tapan Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi businessman. On January 14, 2007, he was appointed as one of the advisers for the Caretaker government of Bangladesh under Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed. He resigned from caretaker government on January 8, 2008....

    , CEO of Square (Bangladesh)
    SQUARE (Bangladesh)
    SQUARE is a Bangladeshi industrial conglomerate. The industries under this group include Textiles, Pharmaceuticals, Toiletries, Consumer products...

  • Samson Hossain Chowdhury
    Samson H. Chowdhury
    Samson H. Chowdhury is an entrepreneur.. He is the Chairman of Astras Ltd. and Square .-Recognitions:...

    , Chairman of Square (Bangladesh)
    SQUARE (Bangladesh)
    SQUARE is a Bangladeshi industrial conglomerate. The industries under this group include Textiles, Pharmaceuticals, Toiletries, Consumer products...

  • Promode Mankin is the State Minister
    Minister (government)
    A minister is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. Senior ministers are members of the cabinet....

     of Cultural Affairs (2009 - ) of Bangladesh
    Bangladesh
    Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

    . He was elected as the Member of Jatiyo Sangshad
    Jatiyo Sangshad
    Jatiya Sangsad or National Assembly is the national parliament of Bangladesh. The current parliament of Bangladesh contains 345 seats including 45 women reserved seats distributed on elected party position in the parliament, the occupants of which are called Members of Parliament or MPs...

     (3 terms) from Mymensingh
    Mymensingh
    Mymensingh , pronounced moy-mon-shing-haw, is a city of Bangladesh situated on the river Brahmaputra. It is the headquarters of the administrative unit Mymensingh District. Mymensingh is the anglicized pronunciation of the original name Momenshahi, referring to a ruler called Momen Shah. The cadet...

     1 (Haluaghat Upazila
    Haluaghat Upazila
    Haluaghat is an Upazila of Mymensingh District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.-Geography:Haluaghat is located at . It has 49520 units of house hold and total area 356.07 km².Present voter of Haluaghat Upazila is 190570-Demographics:...

    ). He belong to the indigenous group known as the Mandi or Garo
    Garo
    -Garo People and languages :* Garo , a tribe in India and Bangladesh.* Bodo-Garo languages, a small family of Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in eastern India,** Garo language, the language spoken by the Garo tribe...

    .
  • Patrick D'Costais a renowned journalist in Bangladesh. He was elected several times in the Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) and Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) as Vice President, Organizing Secretary, Welfare Secretary and Executive Member. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society life member and Bangla Academy
    Bangla Academy
    Bangla Academy , established on 3 December 1955, is the national academy for promoting Bangla language in Bangladesh. The main office of the organization is located at the Burdwan House, once a part of the campus of the University of Dhaka, beside Suhrawardy Udyan.-History:The importance of...

     member Patrick D'Costa is the editor of BANGLAKHABOR and fortnightly ANUSANDHANI, a national online News Agency and a fortnightly news magazine. Patrick D'Costa is the first Catholic professional journalist in Bangladesh.
  • Olivia, film actress and widow of renowned film director S M Shafi
  • Andrew Kishore
    Andrew Kishore
    Andrew Kishore is a popular playback singer in Bangladesh. He is a recipient of seven National Film Awards in the best playback singer category.-Background:...

    is a popular singer of modern songs and has had many hits as a playback artist in Bangladesh movies

See also

  • [ChristBD [Bangladesh Christian Resource Center]]
  • Buddhism in Bangladesh
    Buddhism in Bangladesh
    Buddhism is the third largest religion in Bangladesh with about 0.7% of population adhering to Theravada Buddhism. Most of the practiconers are the tribal Jumma people who are found mainly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, where they constitute about 45% of the area's population.- Demographic Overview...

  • Hinduism in Bangladesh
    Hinduism in Bangladesh
    Hinduism is the second largest religious affiliation in Bangladesh, covering more than 9.2% of the population, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics...

  • Islam in Bangladesh
    Islam in Bangladesh
    Islam is the largest religion of Bangladesh, the Muslim population is approximately 148.6 million, which is the third largest Muslim population in the world, constituting 90.4% of the total population as of 2010. Religion has always been a strong part of identity, but this has varied at different...