Bangladesh: Christians ‘appreciated’ but attacks continue

Christians protest following an attack by local thugs on a church last Saturday in which three men were injured and the building damaged. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Portuguese Christians, initially merchants and later also missionaries, arrived in Bangladesh 500 years ago and started communities. Today Bangladeshi Christians form a tiny group in the Muslim-majority nation and face various challenges because of their faith. According to Fr. David Bipul Das, a Catholic priest in the diocese of Barisal, . . . Read More

Freedom of thought ‘regressing on a global scale’

There are many Pakistani Christian women like Aasiya Noreen who live in fear of the Blasphemy law in their country and the (potential of) abuse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The 2017 Freedom of Thought Report, presented yesterday (5 December), should be alarming “to all who care about freedom of thought and expression”, as it shows “a pattern of regression on a global scale”, says its editor, Bob Churchill. The report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) . . . Read More

Bangladesh: Catholic priest missing as Pope Francis arrives

Pope Francis hold hands with President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid (L) upon arriving at the Presidential palace in Dhaka on 30 November 2017. (Photo: VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis has arrived in Bangladesh, where a Catholic priest disappeared three days ago, highlighting the pressure Christians and other minority groups are under in the mainly Muslim country. Father Walter William Rozario, who is also the headmaster of a high school, went missing in northern Natore district on 27 . . . Read More

Myanmar’s Christians hope Pope Francis will speak for them

Pope Francis is greeted by a child upon arrival in Yangon, Myanmar, on 27 November. (Photo: Getty Images)
Pope Francis landed in Myanmar today (27 November) to start his six-day visit to Southeast Asia, raising the hopes of Christians there that he will address the issues they face in the majority-Buddhist nation. Among those welcoming the Pontiff in Yangon were more than 7,000 ethnic Kachin from the conflict-torn state . . . Read More

Bangladesh: 12 militants charged with Catholic’s murder

Street in the capital Dhaka, February 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Police in Bangladesh’s northern Natore district have charged 12 militants with the murder of a Catholic shopkeeper in June last year. The charges followed a reported confession by a militant leader in custody, who is said to have admitted that members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, an organisation affiliated to the Islamic . . . Read More

Bangladesh orders removal of ‘jihad’ from madrassa textbooks

Bangladesh orders removal of ‘jihad’ from madrassa textbooks
In a move to curb the growth of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh, the government has ordered chapters on jihad to be removed from next year’s textbooks for madrasas (Islamic schools), reports UCAN. According to the news agency, the National Committee on Militancy Resistance and Prevention, which advised the government on . . . Read More

Bangladesh a ‘dangerous place for minorities’

There were five times more incidences of violent abuse against religious and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh in 2016 than in 2015, according to a report from the Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist & Christian Unity Council – the country’s largest minority rights forum. “Our prime minister and political leaders say that they . . . Read More