08/02/2021 Bangladesh (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, a church in Bangladesh was attacked and demolished by Buddhist radicals. Local reports indicate the attack, which happened in two phases, took place after weeks of threats.
“We were Buddhists and we met Jesus Christ in 2005,” Pastor Tubel Chakma Poran Adetion told Asia News. “In January of this year we build the church. Every day we gathered and prayed, but the local Buddhist majority didn’t like it. They attacked us and demolished our church twice.”
Pastor Adetion is the assistant pastor at a small church in Suandrapara village, located in the Rangamati district. Local church leaders report that there are about 50 Christians living in Suandrapara who worship are the church that was demolished.
On July 12, Buddhist radicals, led by Joan Chakma, reportedly confronted the Christians of Suandrapara and told them they had to tear down the church within three days. When the Christians did not succumb to these threats, the radicals attacked the church in July 15, damaging the church’s gate, cross, and other parts of the building.
After the July 12 attack, the radicals demanded the Christians stop all kinds of church activities and reconvert to Buddhism. The Christians were given seven days to meet these demands.
On July 22, three days after the radicals’ deadline, they attacked again and demolished the church’s wall, door, and tin roof. The attackers told the Christians that there would be dire consequences for any who reported the attacks to the media or local police.
“We did not go to the police station for security reasons,” Pastor Adetion told Asia News. “We are a minority and Buddhists can do anything to us. We want peace by talking to them.”
“The radicals told us to destroy the church, but we will not,” Pastor Adetion continued. “If we have to sacrifice our lives, we will. They threatened us to return to our old religion, but we will not return. Jesus Christ is our savior. We will die for him.”
Church leaders in Bangladesh report that the Christian community of Suandrapara has been praying in a small house church setting since 2005. However, local Buddhist radicals became enraged when the church members received funds to build a brick and tin building for their church.
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