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ICC Note: Christians and other minorities in Bangladesh fear the political instability caused by upcoming elections will lead to more attacks on their communities. Much of the fear is focused on retribution by hardline Islamist parties who see Christians and other minorities as vote banks for the ruling government. Will attacks on Christians and other minorities increase as the elections near?  

05/04/2018 Bangladesh (World Watch Monitor) – Christians and other minorities in Bangladesh face a “daunting election” at the end of the year, warns the Bangladeshi Bureau Chief of Catholic news agency UCAN.

“Elections and violence go hand-in-hand in Bangladesh and minorities often face the brunt of this amid a tug-of-war between political parties jockeying for power,” writes Rock Ronald Rozario. “… Things will probably get worse for them before they get better”.

Religious minorities face “sporadic outbursts of political violence, often from hard-line Islamist parties,” says Rozario, because of their “broad support for the Awami League”, Bangladesh’s ruling party.

However, Rozario says their loyalty is misplaced as, while the Awami League considers them a useful “vote bank”, it does little to empower them or bring them justice for being on the receiving end of violent attacks.

Moreover, the attacks on Christians in 2016 “drew support from local Awami League parliamentarians”, Rozario says.

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