Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 19 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope Saint Leo IX
home iconNews
line break icon

Fear and Violence for Minorities in Bangladesh

Waterdotorg

Aid to the Church in Need - published on 01/16/14

"Due to the terrible and difficult situation, the majority of people were unable to celebrate Christmas in my region in Dinajpur,” said a local source.

The ruling Awami league won overwhelmingly following the general election in Bangladesh Sunday, January 5, 2014, in an election marred by low voter turnout, a boycott by the opposition parties and considerable, even fatal, violence on the part of some of the opposition, in the hope of preventing the vote.

According to recent reports, at least 21 people were killed and more than 300 injured during the elections. A hundred polling stations were the target of damage and attacks as part of the boycott led by the main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its ally, the Islamist and markedly fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami party.

Sources close to the international Catholic pastoral foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) told of the tensions during the preceding days, in the run-up to the election, which coincided with the celebration of Christmas.

"Due to the terrible and difficult situation, the majority of people were unable to celebrate Christmas in my region in Dinajpur,” said a local source.

“In most of the dioceses, many of the villages are far apart and generally the priest can only celebrate Mass there only once or twice a year. As a result of the boycott, the roadblocks and the terrorist attacks, the priests and catechists were unable to move about easily; even in their own towns or villages it was not possible to move around."

The source goes on to explain that in addition to burning cars, throwing containers of gasoline against trains and lifting railway lines, followers of the most fundamentalist opposition parties also resorted to attacking the religious minorities in the country, especially Hindus.

"They are burning the houses of the minorities, looting them and even beating people, sometimes to the point of death. Every day we see photographs in the paper of many people killed in these extreme conditions. We are living through a terrible situation."

The situation has grown still worse since the elections, however. "On the very day of the election, a number of Hindu houses were looted and then burned in a village near our house.”

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
Christians in the Middle EastIndia
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
4
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
5
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
6
OSORNO
Brett Salkeld
How to vaccinate like a Catholic
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.