|The map showing Catholic dioceses in Bangladesh as of 2011|
Map Courtesy: The Catholic Directory of Bangladesh, 2011
(Click on the map above to see an enlarged version)
More than 50 armed Muslims of the locality, on July 6, broke into the Boldipukur Catholic Church rectory and convent and looted some materials and beat and molested some PIME Sisters (nuns), reports the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
Bishop Seabasstian Tudu, an aboriginal bishop of the Diocese of Dinajpur (located in the north-west of Bangladesh) overseeing 14 parishes including Boldipukur, told the Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic charity, "The attack was massive and lasted about an hour and a half. The attackers brutally beat the nuns... the convent was seriously devastated. Only when the police arrived did the attackers leave the mission."
The Sisters are now in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, for psychological and medical care.
"The attack is obviously a targeted and planned attempt at intimidation. Nuns and priests are being attacked because they stand up for the disadvantaged and minorities," the bishop said. "The most recent attack is clearly a targeted response to Catholics' commitment to the country's poorest people," he added.
The Asianews reports that the attack started at 2:00 a.m. and lasted for an hour and a half. The intruders tied the hands and legs of two night watchmen and gagged them before breaking down the door of the assistant pastor Father Anselmo Marandy who was asleep. They looted some items and then attacked the convent inside the church compound.
The raiders were demanding the land documents that aboriginal parishoners deposit with reliable persons for safekeeping. Some non-Christian people with ill motive are always on the lookout for ways to deprive aboriginals of their land and grab them.
Nirmal Rozario, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association, based in Dhaka, demanded exemplary punishment for the culprits.
So far, the police arrested 12 Muslims for this attack.
For further details, you may visit the following:
- Women Religious attacked in Bangladesh
- Convent attacked, nuns molested in Bangladesh, 12 Muslims arrested
- 12 Muslims arrested from group that attacked the church in Boldipukur
In the past, there were other attacks and threats on churches, convents and Christians in Bangladesh. For details, you may click on the following:
- Boldipukur: a 500-strong mob of Muslim extremists attack Catholic Church (Rangpur District, in March, 2010)
- Presssure on Catholic family to rob them of house and property (in Dhaka,in October, 2009)
- Bangladesh: Muslims threaten Catholic women of Dewtola village (Dhaka District, in August, 2009)
- Bombing in a Church in Bangladesh Kills 10 (Baniarchor Church in Gopalganj District, in June, 2001)
- Mob Attack on Catholic Church and School and Two Protestant Churches in Dhaka (in April, 1998)
- Intolerant Islam on the Rise in Bangladesh: Two Churches in Bangladesh Attacked in 1985 (in Narayanganj)