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ICC Note: In what is an alarming development for Christians in Bangladesh, radical Islamist groups have turned to violence in demonstrations demanding the passage of a new blasphemy law. Blasphemy laws are used in Islamic countries around the world to criminalize speaking against the Prophet Muhammad. These often ambigous laws then lead to the open persecution of religious minorities, including Christians. Christian groups in Bangladesh are praying ardently for change in the country, including the failure of any new blasphemy legislation being passed. 
5/10/2013 Bangladesh (MNN) – At least 27 people died in clashes between police and Islamic hardliners in Bangladesh’s capital city Monday.
Demonstrators were demanding that the government enact an anti-blasphemy law. We spoke with the national co-director of Asian Access (A2)/Bangladesh, Rev. Peter Mazumder, who also serves as director of IFES-Bangladesh (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students). He explains, [sic] “Jamaat-e-Islami want to pressure that Bangladesh should have this blasphemy law, which is totally denied by the government of Bangladesh. And also, the concerned people from Bangladesh, they don’t accept that one.”
Essentially, that means the government of the Muslim-majority nation has rejected the demand, insisting that Bangladesh is governed by secular law.
However, Jamaat-e-Islami was joined by Hefajat-e-Islam, the islamist group behind the demand, and the main opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party (BNP). Hefajat-e-Islam attracted little public attention until recently. Mazumder says its mission is stated in its name: ‘Hefajat-e-Islam’ translates to ‘protecting islam’.

The situation created a unique and unifying opportunity for Christians in Bangladesh, says Mazumder. [Sic]”The last few days many churches came together, and we prayed God may transform this situation and change the situation. We’d like to see a peaceful country like that, so you can pray for that.”

Continue to pray for the safety of the students and leaders. Ask God to intervene on behalf of believers in Bangladesh. Pray for peace to be restored.
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