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Muslims Attack Christian Village Celebrating Easter, Stab Priest, Destroy Bibles and Crosses in Bangladesh
During last Easter, a Catholic Christian village made up of tribal Khasia people living in Bangladesh was attacked by Muslims.
Syed Ara Begum, a Muslim owner of a tea plantation, along with a Muslim mob, attacked the Christian village as its population was celebrating Mass for Easter Monday. The plantation owner reportedly seeks to seize the Christians’ land. Hearing the cries of his flock, Fr. James Kiron Rozario ran to the site of the attack. Once there, the crowd of Muslims attacked him with a knife, seriously wounding him and threatening to kill him.
The Muslim mob went on to steal items worth 33,900 taka (4,134 EUR). They also destroyed Bibles, crosses, holy pictures, musical instruments and homes — and slaughtered goats and chickens.
According to Msgr. Bejoy N. D’Cruze OMI, Bishop of Syleht, “We live in fear…. We want justice and security for our priests and our faithful. We hope that the government will find a peaceful solution and that our people can live free from tensions…. They [Catholic Khasia] are a very peaceful community but often fall victims of the Bengali [Muslim] majority.”
A short video about Chinese believers receiving their first Bible. Let us be grateful and remember how precious the gift of God’s Word is. And let’s honor Him by reading it, if only one chapter a day. Pray for the Church in China. Pray for the Underground Church.
KAZAKHSTAN: In what may be the first such instance in Kazakhstan, a court has ordered religious literature to be destroyed. Forum 18 reports a total of 121 books confiscated from a Baptist, Vyacheslav Cherkasov, were ordered destroyed in the northern Akmola Region, according to the verdict seen by Forum 18 News Service. The books comprise Bibles, Children’s Bibles, and other books and leaflets on the Christian faith, mainly in the Kazakh language. Cherkasov was also fined one month’s average wage. If he loses his appeal, court executors will carry out the destruction. A Justice Ministry official in the capital Astana told Forum 18 that “most likely the books would be burnt”. A state Agency of Religious Affairs (ARA) official told Forum 18 that “I’m not interested in whether court executors are bothered by having to destroy religious literature”. Local Council of Churches Baptists told Forum 18 that “we were shocked – this is sacrilege and illegality”. Human rights defender Yevgeni Zhovtis of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law sounded distressed, telling Forum 18 that “this is terrible, terrible”. Religious literature is frequently confiscated, and the state appears committed to using censorship and other freedom of religion or belief violations as a means to control society.
Forum 18 can recall no other court decision in Kazakhstan ordering religious literature to be destroyed. In April 2012 a court initially ordered two religious books, including a Bible to be destroyed as part of an administrative case, according to the decision seen by Forum 18. However, exactly two weeks later the same judge reversed their decision when the individual from whom they had been confiscated complained. The individual was acquitted of any wrongdoing and the destruction decision was later annulled. Similarly, no officials, members of religious communities, or human rights defenders contacted by Forum 18 could recall such court-ordered destructions either. “We know that religious literature has frequently been confiscated since the new Religion Law came into force in 2011,” Zhovtis told Forum 18. “But I’ve never heard that religious literature is being destroyed, unless it is extremist.”