The Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh has seen six fires already this year. The latest fire killed one child and destroyed 400 shacks and two learning centres.
A January fire destroyed 600 more shelters. In March of 2021, a massive fire killed 15 people and left about 45,000 without shelter.
Greg Kelley with World Mission says, “The people live off of these sort of gas cylinders. Think of a propane tank. It’s that type of thing. And there are regular events where they just explode. One just recently exploded, just in the last few weeks. And it caused an inferno to take place, where every house in the vicinity went up in flames.”
But fire isn’t the only danger to the Rohingya. The region is now entering monsoon season. Kelley talks about the experience. “They live underneath a tarp. And there will be constant, perpetual rains from our springtime until basically the end of our summer (in the United States).”
This makes living conditions incredibly difficult for the Rohingya, Kelley says. “Things get washed away. People are drowning. All kinds of horrible things are happening.”
Ministering to the Rohingya
Plus, freedom fighters and sex traffickers prey on children in the camp. World Mission works to provide for basic needs and share the love of Jesus. Kelley says, “When we responded to this recent fire, 50 Rohingya received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We gave them our solar-powered audio Bibles in the Rohingya language.”
Ask God to grow the small Rohingya Church. Most Rohingya identify as Muslim.
The Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh remains the largest refugee camp in the world. Kelley says, “In the window of 2017 to 2019, they were pushed across the border in the most violent ways imaginable by the primarily Buddhist military in Myanmar.”
This story originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.
The header photo shows the refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar in 2019. (Photo courtesy of CAPTAIN RAJU, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)