(ANS) – The launch of the ‘War on Terror’ caused Muslim solidarity and zeal to rise so intensely in Bangladesh that the October 2001 general elections yielded a huge swing away from the ruling secular Awami League Party in favour of pro-Pakistan, pro-Muslim and militant Islamist parties. As Islamic zeal has risen, so has violent persecution of Christians. In the past year two pastors have been beheaded. Dr Abdul Gani, a respected Christian leader with the Bangladesh Baptist Fellowship, was decapitated by four Islamic militants on 18 September 2004. On 8 March 2005, Dulal Sarkar (35), a lay pastor, evangelist and church planter with the Bangladesh Free Baptist Church in Jalalpur village, was beheaded by Islamic militants as he was traveling home that night. On 29 July, Islamic militants broke into the home of Tapan Kumar Roy (30) and Liplal Marandi (35) at 2am. They stabbed, hacked and beat Tapan and Liplal to death after chaining the doors shut to prevent their escape or rescue. Tapan and Liplal were field workers with Christian Life Bangladesh (Campus Crusade) in central Faridur district. But the Church is growing! Mr Dennis Datta, the honorary General Secretary of the National Christian Fellowship of Bangladesh comments: ‘In each week an average of at least four churches are planted. Each church is composed of 10-15 baptised believers who worship under a mango tree. No church building is built because of the fear of local agitation.