Issue 17, Prayer, World

Child Brides In Bangladesh

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Child Brides In Bangladesh

According to UNICEF, Bangladesh has the fourth highest rate in child marriages across the world with 65% of girls getting married before the age of 18, and 29% before the age of 15. This comes as a surprise since child marriage has been banned in Bangladesh since 1929, and the minimum age of marriage has been set at 18 for women since the 1980s. Till today, child marriages persist in Bangladesh with little indication that the situation will improve any time soon.  


Child marriages in Bangladesh continue to exist despite it being banned because of the dowry practice. As older girls pay a higher dowry, many poor families try to marry off their daughters as soon as they can. Destitute families also marry their daughters off in the hope that their daughters will be protected, fed, and maybe even given an education — all things they are unable to provide for them on their own. As a result, child marriages are not only accepted, but expected in many communities.


Some of the consequences of getting married at a young age are the discontinuation of secondary education, violence and abuse from spouses and in-laws, and health dangers associated with pregnancies at a young age. Bangladesh is a party to different international treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and is therefore obligated to protect the rights of girls and women. However, child marriage clearly violates the rights to free and full consent to marriage, to choose one’s spouse, and to be free from physical, mental, and sexual violence.


No one knows when child marriages in Bangladesh will cease to exist. Though the country’s prime minister promised to end child marriage by 2041, that is still a long time from now, and little has been done to reform and enforce laws that could make it a reality. Should authorities enforce the accurate verification of a person’s age to determine if they are old enough to legally marry, child marriages could possibly end. However, Human Rights Watch’s research found that many local officials receive bribes to issue false birth certificates that lie about the bride’s age. When marriages are actually prevented by local officials, families still find ways to hold the marriage in a different district.  

– for child brides who are abused or ill-treated to find refuge among safe families
– that young girls in Bangladesh will be married into safe homes and families
– that those with early pregnancies will have smooth and safe deliveries
– for the men to rise up and protect young girls in Bangladesh
– that the Bangladeshi leaders will have strong morals to enforce laws and compassion for the plight of the child brides


On 26 July 2016, two men who pledged allegiance to ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) interrupted a morning mass in a Catholic church in France and killed an elderly priest. Both men were shot dead by the police.

– for peace and religious harmony among the Muslims and other faiths in the country
– that those present during the attack will find comfort in Christ
– for the French churches to forgive and love the attackers and other extremists

Nineteen were killed and 26 injured at a care centre for the disabled in Sagamihara city. The entire nation is in shock, especially because the killer, 26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu, has expressed a deep resentment of disabled people and has shown no remorse for his actions.

– that the injured patients in distress will recover from their physical wounds and emotional trauma
– for Satoshi Uematsu to encounter Christ and hear the good news of forgiveness by the Cross, repent of his actions, and choose to follow Him.

As the Olympics has drawn to a close, many are concerned about the economic and political situation in Brazil. The country is already in a troubled situation, and pouring resources into hosting the games has led to a worsening of these problems.

– for wisdom and strategic foresight to be exercised by the Brazilian government
– for peace and providence to be upon the Brazilians who are bearing the brunt of the financial, political, and public health crises

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