Bangladesh: Christians, Muslims and Hindus protest demanding justice for the Christian missionary attacked by Islamists

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Bangladesh

About 200 protestors from Christian, Muslim and Hindu communities in Bangladesh, stage a protest demanding justice for the Christian missionary attacked by assailants last week.

In keeping with details, the protestors from various faiths gathered in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka, country’s capital, urging the government to guarantee justice for Fr Piero Parolari, who sustained severe wounds as a result of an attack.

Father Piero Parolari, is a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) serving in Bangladesh, was attacked on Wednesday, November 18. However, ISIS claimed responsibility for this attack later on. Father Piero Parolari was critically injured, and is currently admitted in a military hospital in Dhaka.

Moreover, the Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA) had organised this protest in collaboration with various other Christian groups. At this occasion, some of the protesters were holding banners saying ‘Do not kill for religion’, and ‘Foreigners are our friends’.

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Nirmal Rozario- General Secretary of Bangladesh Christian Association said, “We are persecuted more and more. The government is not paying attention to our situation. This emboldens the criminals who attack us.”

“Christians have been victims many times in the past. Yet, none of them has seen any justice. We want justice in Father Piero’s case now!” he said. Catholic Christians are not alone. Furthermore, a dozen Protestant clergymen have already received death threats via text messages in the last two weeks, he explained.

Rana Dasgupta- Hindu community representative who is also an International Crimes Tribunal Prosecutor said, “Today I am very sad. A priest who dedicated his whole life to charity was hurt by extremists. It is a shame for us to be Bangladeshi. I also heard that 12 other pastors received death threats,” he added. “If this situation goes on, democracy in our country will be destroyed soon.”

A priest participating in this protest said, “I don’t go out after I got this threat,” said one clergyman who chose not to give his name. Eat whatever you like the most. Only five days are left. Not more than that,” another priest said in the view of a message he had received. Nonetheless, Dhaka Police is carrying out investigation into this case.

Benedict Alo D’Rozario- executive director of Caritas Bangladesh said, “PIME missionaries and many other clergymen selflessly serve the people. They do humanitarian work for people of every religion, but they are often victimised and persecuted.”

“We love and respect PIME missionaries for their charity and good work. We are sad that some extremists are trying to harm them. Today we have come to demand justice and security for the priests.”