Christianity in Bangladesh

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The Portuguese Church in Old Chittagong, the seat of the Bishop of Chittagong[citation needed]
Dhaka's Armenian Church, built in 1781

The earliest recorded Christians in the territory of modern-day Bangladesh arrived during the Bengal Sultanate. Portuguese missionaries and traders in Porto Grande, Chittagong built the region's first churches during the 16th century. The Jesuits opened their first mission in 1600. Mughal and colonial Dhaka were home to Armenians, Greeks, Catholics and Anglicans.[citation needed] Islam is the majority religion in Bangladesh (89.1%), followed by Hinduism (10%). Christianity is a minority religion in Bangladesh (0.5%),[1] and together with the other minority religions makes up 0.9% of the population (includes Buddhism, Judaism, etc., 2013 est.).[2]


Christians have greatly served the education and health sectors. This tiny community has some 1000 schools and about 100 health care centers and hospitals. In Bangladesh, the Christian community runs the country's largest cooperative bank in Dhaka.

Having worked in Bangladesh as a missionary since 1952, Father Richard William Timm, C.S.C. won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding, the Asian Nobel Prize, in 1987 in recognition of his work as a teacher, as a biologist studying plant-parasitic worms, and with Caritas on relief efforts.[3]


With the growth of Christianity[4][5], persecution of Christians is on the rise. Bangladesh moved from place 35 on the World Watch List of Christian persecution in 2015 to place 26 in 2017.[6]

Catholic Church

There are two Catholic archdioceses and six Catholic dioceses in Bangladesh with some 400,000 Catholics. Each diocese is led by its own local bishop. Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario is the highest Catholic official.

List of Protestant denominations

List of Baptist Churches

Christian media

The Christian community has some media houses, including The Weekly Pratibeshi,[7] Sargamarta, Bd Christian News[8] and Dhaka Credit News. Pratibeshi is the oldest weekly in the country, established 76 years ago.[when?]

See also


  1. ^ "World Watch List - Bangladesh". Open Doors UK.
  2. ^ "Bangladesh". CIA World Factbook.
  3. ^ "Awardees: Timm, Richard William". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ The Weekly Pratibeshi
  8. ^ Bd Christian News

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website

Further reading

  • Luchesi, Brigitte (1999), "Bangladesh", in Fahlbusch, Erwin, Encyclopedia of Christianity, 1, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, pp. 182–183, ISBN 0802824137
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