Three Pastors Beaten in Land Dispute in Bangladesh

ICC Note:

Three pastors in Bangladesh were attacked and beaten by thugs in a land dispute over a pond. According to reports, the three pastors were fishing when, on January 20, the thugs attacked with sticks. Christians, who make up just a small minority of Bangladesh, are often the targets of “land grabbing” schemes. They are often perceived as easy targets because of the size of their community and the discrimination they already face in Bangladesh because of their religious identity. 

01/22/2018 Bangladesh (UCAN) – Three Protestant pastors were assaulted and an inter-church gathering disrupted by thugs in Bangladesh in a row over a disputed pond.

The three pastors were beaten with sticks and punched on Jan. 20 during an annual volunteers meeting at the St. Mothurnath Assemblies of God (AG) Church in Gopalganj district, south west of the capital Dhaka.

The clerics were catching fish in the pond adjacent to their church when they were set upon by up to five men. All three suffered cuts and bruises.

A dispute over the pond between the church and local politicians from the ruling Awami League party has been ongoing since 2014.

“Since 1948, the church has been the legal owner of the property and we have all the documents to prove it. Some politicians have been trying to grab it since 2014,” Anukul Biswas, pastor in-charge of the church told ucanews.com.

“We have protested against the assault in the strongest of terms,” he added.

Church authorities filed a case with local police immediately after the assault on Jan. 20 against five persons but no one has been arrested yet, he said.

Mokhlesur Rahman, a senior local government official confirmed the pond was the legal property of the church.

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