More attacks on Christianity in Bangladesh
Bangladesh continues to see a rise in attacks and intimidation against those connected with Christianity, according to sources close to World Watch Monitor.
On 25 November in southern Bangladesh, two young men viciously attacked Alok Sen, the general secretary of an interfaith committee that represents Christian, Hindu and Buddhist communities. The two men used sharp weapons that left Sen hospitalised with cuts to his hands and legs. Local police are trying to identify the assailants.
Also on 25 November, 10 Christian pastors from Rangpur, northern Bangladesh, received death threats through an anonymous letter.
It was sent to the leader of the Bangladesh Baptist Church in Rangpur, Rev. Barnabas Hembrom, and listed the names of nine other pastors in the district. The letter reads: “Those who are preaching Christianity in Bangladesh must leave this world one by one".
Local police were informed and are giving protection to the church.
These are the latest in a series of attacks on Christians in the country, some of which resulted in the death of foreign nationals. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks.
10 Assyrians released after 'negotiations'
The Islamic State has released 10 more Assyrians, from over 200 indigenous Christians it had snatched from their communities in north eastern Syria in February.
The civilians, five men and five women, were released Tuesday evening, the Assyrian Human Rights Network (AHRN) reported.
The released hostages, from Tel Shamiram, Tel Jazeera, Qabr Shamiya and Tel Fayda, are all said to be “in good health”, AHRN added.
On February 23, Islamic State (IS) jihadists overran 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur River in the northeastern Hasaka province. IS captured 253 in the initial attack and drove 3,000 Assyrians from their villages.
Since the beginning of March, at least 95 Assyrian hostages, mostly sick and elderly, have been released by IS in different groups. In October, it filmed the killing of three Assyrian hostages and threatened more if demands were not met.
The latest group of freed hostages comes as a result of ongoing negotiations, AHRN said, declining to disclose details on the nearly eight months’ negotiations process, citing “the gravity and sensitivity of the situation.”
AINA says IS still holds 158 hostages from the Khabur area in addition to 185 Assyrians IS captured in Qaryatain, in the western Syrian province of Homs, in early August.
Egypt army rebuilds church destroyed by Islamists
A Coptic Orthodox church destroyed by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers in August 2013 has been rebuilt by the Egyptian army.
St Theodore's church in the Upper Egypt city of Minya was destroyed by Islamist extremists after the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi, was deposed from the Egyptian Presidency. In retaliation for their downfall the Muslim Brotherhood attacked and torched over 100 churches, homes and businesses owned by Christians, whom they held partly responsible for the overthrow.
The church officially reopened on 14 November when the army handed over the building to the Coptic Orthodox Church. Pope Tawadros II is to consecrate St Theodore's at a later date.