Japanese Immigration officials have refused to grant refugee status to a Christian evangelist who was forced to flee his homeland of Bangladesh for his own safety.
Islamic militants and Mark Fino’s own family have previously threatened to kill him and force him to take a Muslim wife for converting to Christianity from Islam if he returns home.
Japan’s Immigration authority is refusing to recognise Mr. Fino as a refugee because the Bangladesh government has not directly threatened to take any action against him.
It doesn’t believe he will be harmed if he returns to Bangladesh.
Mr. Fino lives on the island of Okinawa where he runs a food truck to finance his evangelism.
He was first detained in Bangladesh in 2012 but following his release he left, fearing for his safety.
Worthy News reports the 30-year-old came to symbolise the plight of Bangladeshi Christians who converted from another religion.
The Dhaka government has been reluctant to halt attacks against churches or individuals like Mr. Fino.
The evangelist has said that even though he may still be able to stay in Japan as a married father and self-supporting Christian entrepreneur, he wants to be recognised as a refugee.
“This is a matter of principle. The world should know about the suffering of persecuted Christians in Bangladesh,” he told Worthy News.