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03/24/2022 Bangladesh (International Christian Concern) – The Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council (BHBCUC) held a press conference this last Tuesday accusing the ruling party, the Awami League, of failing to uphold their promise of protecting religious minorities in the country. Before their election in 2018 (an election with widespread reports of vote-rigging), the Awami League promised to enact the Minority Protection Act. This law would rectify the lack of special provisions for the protection and promotion of, among other minority factions, Christians.

One of the presidents of the interfaith forum reported the progress of these promises to UCA News, “Needless to say. The current ruling party has completely failed to deliver on its promises to our minorities.” He explained that “Over 3,600 attacks on religious minorities took place between 2013 and 2021. These attacks included the vandalism and arson of 559 houses and at least 1,678 temples, idols, and places of worship. The promises they made were our demands. As long as they do not meet our demands, we will continue our movement on the streets with the minority community and civil society.”

Christians, as well as Hindus and Buddhists, are persecuted by the Muslim majority. The BHBCUC claims that religious minorities have their houses, businesses, shrines, and temples attacked regularly. Forced conversions, the abduction and rape of women, threats, and the seizing of property is common for those who refuse to forfeit their faith. Because the Christian population makes up less than 2% of Bangladesh, their voices are not heard, and their safety is deemed insignificant. We pray that the demonstrations and press conferences, as well as cooperation with other religious minorities, may bring attention to the injustice and force the ruling party to fulfill their promises of safety.