Tension continues in Bangladesh: Dhaka prelate

The Bengali Christians "bring a message of hope among violence and confusion," Archbishop Patrick D' Rozario said in interview with Fides news service of Vatican.

Bangladesh
Jan 09 2014, 7:51 PM
Tension continues in Bangladesh: Dhaka prelate
Archbishop Patrick D' Rozario

As political tension continues in Bangladesh after the January 5 parliamentary elections, the tiny Christian community acts as messengers of hope, says the archbishop of Dhaka.

The Bengali Christians "bring a message of hope among violence and confusion," Archbishop Patrick D' Rozario said in interview with Fides news service of Vatican.

"The social and political situation remains tense. As Christians, we did not experience any particular problem but a bomb hit a church in Dhaka, causing little damage and no casualties," he said.

He said the elections, with a low turnout and opposition boycott, were not a good sign for democracy. "But the alternative was chaos and therefore, among the innumerable challenges and problems: there was no other choice," he said.

"The danger of militant and radical Islamism - raised by observers - is real," he said noting that in recent months, radical Islamic activities have increased.

Christians, who are just 0.5% in the 165 million people "continue to give our contribution especially in education, promoting values such as dialogue, respect, harmony, human dignity," the prelate said.

In the general election, the ruling Awami League gained an absolute majority wining 105 of 139 seats but only 22% voters participated in the voting with opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party" (BNP) and its allies boycotting elections.

Between 4 and January 5, 19 BNP activists were killed in clashes with police across the country. Demonstrations asking for the resignation of the government have continued for four months.

Source: Agenzia Fides

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