A Muslim convert to Christianity who was an active evangelist in northern Bangladesh has been hacked to death by suspected Islamists, local sources told World Watch Monitor.

Hossain Ali, 65, a father of three, was killed on 22 March in Kurigram when he was out walking. Three assailants on motorbikes attacked him with knives, and threw homemade bombs as they fled. Hossain died on the spot from excessive bleeding according to The Daily Star.

When he became a Christian in 1999, Hossain’s wife tied him up in their house for three days. His family persecuted him for changing his faith but later became Christians themselves. Before retiring, Hossain was an inspector of family-planning for the government, which, when it found out about his conversion, withheld his salary for a few months.

Police have arrested three people in connection with the murder but refused to identify them. Attacks on Christians in Bangladesh were largely unheard of until July 2014 when a mob of 60 people attacked nuns in a convent in Rangpur. Other recent similar murders include that of a senior pastor, Khaza Somiruddin (aged 75), on 6 January in Jenaidah. Before his death, Somiruddin had reported receiving several threats from Islamic extremists because of his conversion and evangelistic work.