Over the past two weeks, at least seven Christian clergymen in Bangladesh have received death threats in the form of text messages. It comes after violent attacks on a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister, for which responsibility was claimed by Islamic Militant groups.
Christian leaders say the attacks and death threats are linked.
Nirmol Rozario, secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association, said: “The attempted murders of a priest and a pastor, and the death threats, are correlated. A vested group, presumably religious fanatics, is targeting Christian leaders and institutes.”
“Christians are scared and confused because they are being targeted for no apparent reason. The government must act immediately to find out who the culprits behind these crimes are and punish them,” Rozario added.
The Rev. Martin Adhikari, principal of Dhaka’s College of Christian Theology Bangladesh, said he has been living in fear after he started receiving death threats via text message earlier in November.
One text, sent on November 11th, read: “Eat whatever you like the most. Only five days are left. Not more than that.”
Another text, sent the following day from the same number read: “One day has elapsed. Should we arrange your burial or let your family do it? Inform us today.”
Rev. Adhikari reported; “I have been forced to limit my movements since receiving the threats. If I need to go out, I take two people with me for safety. Religious extremists might be behind the threats, and their intention is to frighten the Christian community by killing some of their leaders.”
In response to the attacks and death threats, the Bangladesh Christian Association organised a protest march, where Christians from various denominations marched and formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka to demand swift government action and the arrest of the attackers.
Attacks on Christians have, historically, been rare in this predominantly Muslim country.
- Pray for Christians in Bangladesh, for protection and for peace in their hearts as they face growing opposition and threats.
- Pray for the government to act on behalf of the Christian community and to seek to bring the perpetrators of the attacks and threats to justice.
- Pray for the Church in Bangladesh, to grow in strength and in numbers.
- Pray for peace in this Muslim country, and for continued freedom of belief and worship for all people.
John 16 vs 33: “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’“
Source: http://www.ucanews.com/news, http://www.persecution.org