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Bangladesh: Many flee homes after 8 Christians killed

Muslims make up 90% of the population of Bangladesh; Hindus comprise 8.5%, Buddhists 0.6%, and Christians only 0.4%.

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

“Many flee homes after 8 Christians killed in Bangladesh,” UCA News, April 12, 2023:

Some 200 people were forced to flee their homes in Bangladesh after eight tribal Christians were killed on Maundy Thursday in a gun battle between two insurgent groups in a remote village in the restive Chittagong Hill Tracts.

They fled their homes fearing further violence in Khamtangpara, a village in Bandarban district where the attack took place on April 6, said Naiton Bawm, a leader of the ethnic Bawm people.

“Around 200 people fled the area. They now live in government-run schools. The government provides them with food. They can return home only when the situation becomes normal. We Bawm people live in fear,” Naiton told UCA News.

Police recovered eight bodies from the village on April 7, Abdul Mannan, the Rowangchhari sub-district police chief told UCA News.

All the dead were Christians — four Baptists and four Presbyterians, said Pastor Georgy Loncheu of the local Presbyterian Church.

“Our Good Friday and Easter were very painful. We Bawm people are worried. On Easter Sunday, we prayed for the souls of those who were killed. We prayed to God so we have the patience to overcome this shock,” Loncheu told UCA News.

Mannan said local people alerted police to the gunfight between insurgent tribal groups — the Kuki-Chin National Front and the United People’s Democratic Front. Two guns were also found near the bodies, Mannan said.

Loncheu said only one of the eight victims might have been a member of the Kuki-Chin National Front, but did not give details.

“Terrorists killed them and claimed they were insurgents,” he said.

The wife of one of the victims, Sankhum Bawm, who now lives with her daughters in a government school, told UCA News they were “afraid to return home” fearing further violence.

“Our daughters’ education will stop now because my husband was the only earning member in our family,” she said….

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