04/10/2012, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Bangladesh: Muslim by birth, Christian for love of Christ (more than husband)

by Maria Gomes
Maria and Teresa converted to Christianity to marry. But their marriages have proved unsuccessful: the husband of the first is a drunk and violent, and the second will not work. Both, however, choose to remain faithful to their men and to Christ. "A different love," says Maria, "which makes me happy."

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Muslim by birth, Christian for love. Similar circumstances are frequent in Bangladesh. Marriage is indeed a major reason why conversions take place in the country. In these cases, it may seem difficult to speak of "genuine" conversion, motivated by an authentic search for God, however, is not uncommon to find women who live a full and mature faith, even when the union, however, falters.

This is the case, for example, of Maria. "As a girl - she s AsiaNews - I fell in love with this young man. We wanted to get married, but he was a Christian, so I decided to leave Islam, and become a Christian. After marriage, however, everything changed: I found out that he is an alcoholic and becomes violent when he drinks. " The love of the early days gave way to beatings and insults. Yet, she never thought to renounce Christianity and return to Islam: "My husband turned out to be another person. With him, however, I found Jesus, which is a different love, but I am so happy."

Teresa's situation is even more difficult. She is young and comes from a Muslim family. Her parents did not hinder her decision to convert to Christianity to marry her current husband, a Catholic. Even with regret, they accompany and sustain her choice of faith. But for Teresa the marriage has proved far from what she had imagined. Her husband is a lazy, with little desire to work. In addition, he has a heart condition: he needs constant care and medical visits. Their union, however, has also resulted in two children. Suddenly, everything has fallen on the shoulders of Teresa, who is struggling to support their children, look after the house and endure the whims of her husband.

At one point, her family of origin intervened: "Leave this man come back to us with the children." "No - Teresa responds - I became a Christian, I like the mass. The pastor gives me a hand. I promised to be faithful to this man. I will stay." Even a priest friend of hers, who has followed and supported her faith journey, is amazed by the strength and conviction shown by the young bride: "Even though with regret, I would not have been surprised if she had decided to part ways and return to her family. She is forced to endure everything from her husband, with the added concern and the difficulty of caring for her children alone. Instead, she has a great fidelity to the religious dimension which she has chosen. She is Christian because she has decided to receive Christ " .

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