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Bangladesh: Attackers vandalize chapel used for Sunday liturgy, leave its altar desecrated and fences broken

Persecution of Christians in Bangladesh: this incident arose over a land dispute, but the attackers did not hesitate to attack the church. Muslims make up 90% of the population of Bangladesh; Christians only 0.4%. So when incidents of this kind take place, in Bangladesh as in other countries officials who should be protecting the Christians often sympathize with the attackers to the extent that the victims do not get justice. In this case, the local parish priest says that the local authorities are supportive of the Christian whose land was illegally seized, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will actually take any decisive action, either on the land matter or on the desecration of the church.

For more ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Bangladesh, see here.

“Christian village attacked over land dispute in Bangladesh,” UCA News, November 12, 2020:

One person was injured, a chapel, and several houses were ransacked when a mob attacked a predominantly Christian village in northern Bangladesh over a land dispute.

Some 50-60 men armed with weapons attacked Ichhachhara village in Moulvibazar district on Nov. 9 evening, hours after authorities evicted a Muslim man from a Christian’s land, local Christians said.

Rafiq Ali, the Muslim who recently lost a legal battle over land ownership to a Khasi Christian villager, led the assailants who attacked a grocery shop, besides the houses and the chapel.

Local parish priest Oblate Father Joseph Gomes said Ali was angry after the administration evicted him from a land he had occupied illegally in the village of mostly ethnic Khasi Christians.

The attackers “also pelted bricks and stones at village houses, and one villager was hurt. We demand justice for the attack and the end of abuses against ethnic people,” Father Gomes said.

The village, inhabited by ethnic Khasi Christians, is covered by Sylhet Diocese’s Immaculate Conception Church of Lokhipur.

“The land and betel leaf plantation belong to a Khasi man, Jasper Amalrang. But Ali grabbed it by force with fake documents,” Father Gomes told UCA News.

He said the administration was supportive of Amalrang, whose only income came from the land and the plantation.

The priest expressed dismay that the attackers dared to vandalize the chapel used for Sunday liturgy and left its fences broken and altar desecrated….

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