Catholics protest attack on Boldipukur convent

The protest was held in front of the sub-district office of Mithapukur in the district of Rongpur. This is the first time that a Bangladeshi bishop has taken part in a demonstration.

Bangladesh
Jul 23 2014, 2:58 PM
Catholics protest attack on Boldipukur convent
The protest held in front of the sub-district office of Mithapukur, Bangladesh.

About 2,500 Catholics, including Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur and more than 100 priests and nuns, protested on July 21 in Mithapukur against the July 6 attack on the Boldipukur mission convent and church.

The protest was held in front of the sub-district office of Mithapukur in the district of Rongpur. This is the first time that a Bangladeshi bishop has taken part in a demonstration.  

Bishop Tudu demanded, "We want a proper investigation and exemplary punishment for those who targeted priests and nuns. We believe that this type of attack is an attack that affects religious sentiments."

Protests were held in other places also on the same day. In Dhaka, about 600 Catholics – including 30 priests and nuns – formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club to demonstrate against the Boldipukur attack. The event was organized by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace and the Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA).

"We Christians are peaceful; we do not want any conflict. We only want peace and religious harmony, but often become victims," said Father Albert Rozario, secretary of the Episcopal Commission. The priest, who is also pastor of Tejgaon, gave the example of land expropriations ??by Bengali settlers against the tribals.

"We, too, are members of this nation. Christians have fought for the independence of the country. We want peace and justice. We want security for the priests and the sisters of our Church," said Nirmol Rozario, general secretary of the BCA.

A group of about 60 armed men had attacked a village mission of Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions in Boldipukur of Dinajpur diocese in northern Bangladesh in the early hours of July 6.

The attackers first tied and gagged the mission's two night watchmen and then broke into the room where the assistant pastor Father Anselmo Marandy was sleeping; he was robbed and threatened. They then raided the convent located in the mission campus. Three nuns suffered attempted rape and were sent to their provincial house in the national capital Dhaka, where they are trying to overcome the shock and mental suffering.

The attack was the first such instance of violence against a Catholic institution in Bangladesh, a Muslim majority secular democratic nation.

Source: Vatican Radio

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