On July 6, a Catholic church in Boldipukur and the convent attached to the church were attacked and ransacked. Many believe the attack was perpetrated by individuals in a land dispute with the church. Now, nearly a month after the attack, tensions in Boldipukur remain high. Church officials, who have filed complaints against the assailants, have started to receive threatening phone calls demanding they drop the case. Please pray for Boldipukur.
8/1/2014 Bangladesh (Asia News) – There is still tension in Boldipukur (Dinajpur) after the attack on the Catholic Church and convent, which took place on July 6. The mission, where there are also some Missionaries of the Immaculate (a congregation of women religious associated with PIME), has received threats to withdraw the complaint against unknown persons and against some people already arrested by the police.
In the attack – which took place in the middle of the night – the attackers stole various items of value and deeds of land ownership. Three sisters were beaten and suffered an attempted rape.
According to members of the local Church, the assault on the Boldipukur mission is not over money (theft), nor an attack “in hatred of the faith.” Rather, it is an attempt to intimidate nuns and members of the parish, to persuade them to close an ongoing legal dispute relating to land next to St Mary’s Primary School Adibashi, run by the Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception.
The High Court had ruled in favor of the mission, but when in 2010 the parish tried to take possession of the land it result in a physical confrontation between Bengali Muslims and tribal Christians, which resulted in 50 injuries and new tensions in the area. This brought the case back to court.
Recently, the parish had asked for permission to expand the school, and had even bought bricks. This may have caused the violent reaction took place on 6 July.