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ICC Note:

The Archbishop of Chittagong in Bangladesh has voiced his concerns over the discrimination and persecution faced by Christians in his country. Specifically, the Archbishop mentioned the exploitation Christians and other minorities in Bangladesh endure in the workplace, often exposing them dangerous work environments. Will the Archbishop’s concerns be heard by the Bangladeshi government? 

09/13/2017 Bangladesh (Premier) – A senior Catholic Church figure in Bangladesh has said he’s worried about Christians facing persecution in the workplace, saying they’re dealing with exploitation and violent outbursts.

Archbishop Moses Costa of Chittagong told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that authorities were exploiting Christians and other minorities working in dangerous conditions dismantling old ships.

Stating that men have been killed in Chittagong’s shipbreaking yards on the coast of southern Bangladesh, he said: “This work is carried out in very hazardous conditions and claims innumerable human lives.”

But according to Bishop Costa, officials are preventing him from helping the workers.

He said: “But I am not permitted to visit this place, because the authorities have refused me permission.”

Highlighting the Church’s concern about the increase in violence against parishioners, he described the situation in his archdiocese as “difficult and dangerous”.

With Catholics only numbering 270,000 or 0.2 percent of the country’s 156 million population he described how they were often scapegoats.

Bishop Costa said: “Last year a thousand Bengalis attacked a parish in Chittagong, because many miles away two business men had been killed and we Christians were accused of having had something to do with it.”

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