A Catholic parish and convert were attacked, robbed, and vandalized in Bangladesh yesterday when as many as 15 masked men attacked the Sacred Hearth Catholic Church and an attached convent. According to witnesses, the masked men beat up a security guard and nun before desecrating the church’s alter and stealing $7,000.00 in cash. Religious intolerance has continued to rise in Bangladesh recently with more attacks on Christians being reported near the end of 2015. Some attribute this trend to the presence in ISIS in Bangladesh, but the group’s presence has yet to be confirmed.
2/8/2016 Bangladesh (UCAN) – A Catholic parish and convent were attacked, vandalized and looted in southwestern Bangladesh.
About 15 masked armed men entered the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and its adjacent Catechist Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary convent, in Chuadanga district early hours on Feb. 7. The church and convent comes under Khulna diocese.
The men looted 350,000 taka (US$ 4,487) from the priest’s residence, 300,000 taka (US$ 3,846) from the convent, besides taking away phones and other valuables.
“They vandalized the convent’s chapel and desecrated the Eucharist from the tabernacle,” added Father Naren J. Baidya, a priest who visited there.
The attackers also beat up a church security guard and slapped a nun who refused to open up the chapel, he said.
Muslim-majority Bangladesh has seen a series extremist attacks and threats on religious minorities including Christians in recent times.