ASIA/BANGLADESH - Post- election violence: "Christians are not being targeted", says the Archbishop of Dhaka

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Dhaka (Agenzia Fides ) - "We condemn all forms of violence against Christians and not just across the country. Today it must be said that, despite some negative episodes, Christians are not being targeted by Islamic radicals": says to Fides Agency Mgr. Patrick D' Rozario, Archbishop of Dhaka, commenting on the news regarding the cases of violence after the elections on January 5.
According to information sent to Fides, in past days, a group of Islamic fanatics attacked a Catholic community of ethnic gari in Jamalpur district, in the area of Dhaka, injuring eight people, three of them are hospitalized. Among them, the elder brother of Msg. Paolo Ponen Kubi, Bishop of Mymensigh. More violence occurred in a parish in the district of Sherpur, always in Dhaka, where five worshipers were injured. Days before the young Catholic of ethnic Santal, Ovidio Marandy in northern Bangladesh was killed.
Before the elections, some Islamist groups had threatened Catholics and Hindus of reprisals if they went to the polls, "but we do not know with certainty the causes of the attacks", explains the Archbishop. "After the elections, there have been isolated incidents against Christians, but now the situation seems to have calmed down. I spoke to the bishop, whose brother was wounded. It is not clear what is behind the attacks. They can also be reasons related to the possession of land or other reasons, related to disputes and ethnic conflicts".
"As a minority in a Muslim country we have a role and a contribution to offer: yesterday a lay Catholic elected in Parliament, Promod Mankin, was appointed Minister of Welfare. We believe it is a good sign, we hope that it can work not only for the good of the Christian community but for the common good of the entire country, with a special eye for the development of the poorest. Mankin is a devout and honest person: we encourage him. I will meet him in the next few days and we will discuss the situation concerning the country". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/01/2014)