ASIA/BANGLADESH - Interreligious cooperation to curb violence against Christians

Wednesday, 8 June 2022 religious freedom   violence   religious minorities  

Rajshahi (Agenzia Fides) - The collaboration and friendship between believers of different religions is useful to curb violence against Christians, a small minority in Bangladesh: this is what has happened after a young Muslim, Jannatun Ferdous, sneaked into the Catholic chapel of Hatshika, in the diocese of Rajshahi, in northern Bangladesh, and damaged a crucifix and statues of the Virgin and Mother Teresa, in addition to tearing the Bible and breaking other liturgical objects.
According to information from Agenzia Fides, while the faithful are saddened by the unpleasant incident, which occurred in recent weeks in the territory of the parish of Khonjonpur, in Joypurhat, the inhabitants of the village, many of them Muslims, managed to identify the young man and they handed him over to the police. Bishop Gervas Rozario, bishop of the Catholic diocese of Rajshahi, tells Agenzia Fides: "We condemn the violence and reaffirm the right to practice our religious faith in this country, in accordance with the Constitution. To Christians I say: do not be afraid, let us move forward without fear, with faith in God who is our salvation". According to the local police, the young man is mentally ill, and there is no hostility towards Christians among the local population. In addition, the cooperation in tracking down and arresting the culprit was precious. Subash Murmu, one of the local faithful tells Fides: "We are saddened, but we will repair our chapel. It seems an isolated incident, carried out by a person with a disorder".
Of the 165 million inhabitants of Bangladesh, 90% are Muslims, while Christians number about 800,000. Among them, half are Catholic and the rest are Protestant. (FC/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 8/6/2022)