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4/7/2011 Bangladesh (AllVoices) – A Bangladesh Christian Evangelist Biplob Marandi, age 25, has been sentenced to one year in prison after losing an appeal on charges of “creating chaos” by selling and distributing Christian books and religious booklets near an annual Muslim congregation at the outskirts of the capital Dhaka.

This revelation is contained in a release by All Headline News adding that a magistrate court in the town of Gazipur north of the capital sentenced Marandi, an old ethnic Christian convert on Feb. 28, after he was arrested on Jan. 21 near the gigantic Bishwa Ijtema (World Muslim Congregation of Sufis) on the banks of the Turag River.

It noted that Marandi’s lawyer appealed the decision on Monday, saying the defendant’s religious activities were protected by the religious freedom provisions of the Bangladesh constitution.

According the report, every year, several million Sufi Muslims take part in Bishwa Ijtema to pray and listen to Islamic theologians from around the world and that thousands of foreigners from more than 100 countries attend the event, but most of the worshippers are from upcountry.

It said that Bangladesh equates the annual event with the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. “The court ruled on Monday that Marandi was sentenced according to Section 296 of Bangladesh penal code 1860 for “creating chaos at a religious gathering,” an archaic law that dates back to British colonial days.”

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