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Bangladesh Christians in uproar over convent attack and assaulted nuns

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/14/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rights groups demanding justice against those who attacked holy site

Bangladesh, a majority Muslim South Asian nation is reeling in outrage over an attack upon a convent where men attempted to rape the nuns. Armed men reportedly attacked the convent of PIME, or Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions nuns in Boldipuku, a village mission in Dinajpur diocese in northern Bangladesh.

Local Christians are currently living in fear since the attack. Christians form only 0.8 percent of Dinajpur district's three million people. Muslims account for nearly 77 percent, followed by Hindus 21 percent.

Local Christians are currently living in fear since the attack. Christians form only 0.8 percent of Dinajpur district's three million people. Muslims account for nearly 77 percent, followed by Hindus 21 percent.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/14/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Bangladesh, nuns molested, attack, Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Aid to the Church, a religious agency, some 60 men attempted to loot the building and rape the nuns. The attack on July 6 was the first such instance of violence against a Catholic institution in Bangladesh.

The attackers first tied the hands and legs of the mission's two night watchmen and gagged them in the early morning hours. They then broke down the door of the room where the assistant pastor Father Anselmo Marandy was sleeping. They then raided the convent located in the mission campus.

Let's all pray that justice will be done --

Twelve Muslims have been arrested in connection with the incident.

In response, Christians and rights groups in Bangladesh have demanded strict action against those charged in the attack.

"We want exemplary punishment of those involved in the case," Nirmol Rozario, general secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association said. Rozario also asked the government for a thorough probe on the attack and security for all the churches throughout the country.

"It's unprecedented because nuns are highly respected in Bangladesh," Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur said. The 47-year-old Santal prelate said the nuns were beaten and molested, ending when police arrived.

The attackers had come to loot the mission, the bishop said.

Three PIME nuns suffered attempted rape and were sent to their provincial house in Dhaka, the national capital where they are trying to overcome the shock and mental suffering.

"It's very sad that the sisters cannot continue to work for the people, but our sisters are no longer safe," Rosaline Costa, a Catholic human rights activist lamented.

"I have lodged strong complaints over the attack on these religious sisters," she says. "If the Church is not safe nobody will go to the seminary or formation house to become priest or nun. It is a challenge for Church," she added.

Local Christians are currently living in fear since the attack. Christians form only 0.8 percent of Dinajpur district's three million people. Muslims account for nearly 77 percent, followed by Hindus 21 percent.

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