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  • » 08/27/2009, 00.00

    BANGLADESH

    Bangladesh: Muslims threaten Catholic women of Dewtola village

    William Gomes

    At the root of the tensions Christian ownership of stalls in the local market. The women are helpless because most of the men of the village have emigrated to Europe or moved to Dhaka to find work.

    Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Catholic women of the village of Dewtola can no longer go to mass because of continual threats from local Muslims. For the past several weeks tensions have been mounting around the parish of St. Francis Xavier in Golla, Nawabgonj district.

    Michael Gomes, a local Catholic leader, tells AsiaNews that "defenceless women and children are being intimidated.  Most of the men of the village have emigrated to Europe or moved to Dhaka to find work”.

    The threats originate from disputes over the village market where many stalls are run by some of the more than 3 thousand 700 Christians living in the area. Muslim traders want to take possession of them and have already on several occasions tried to use force to expel the non Muslim owners.

    Already in 2006, for the same reason, a crowd of 200 people attacked the Catholic faithful as they were going to church and destroyed some of their stalls at the market. "Now the climate is back to being that of three years ago - says Gomes - we live in a situation of deep insecurity and despite having alerted the local authorities nothing has happened."

    The story is further complicated by the private interest of local politicians. Gomes says that "the local union leader is linked to the Muslims and says that the market can not be the exclusive property of Christians”.

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    See also

    11/07/2014 BANGLADESH
    12 Muslims arrested from group that attacked the church of Boldipukur
    The robbers were after documents pertaining to land ownership. Not the first attempt to steal the deeds. The parishioners are mostly tribal, very poor and poorly educated and often Muslims try to take over their lands. During the attack, three PIME nuns suffered attempted rape.

    23/03/2010 BANGLADESH
    Boldipukur: a 500-strong mob of Muslim extremists attack Catholic church
    Several people are injured during the attack, five seriously. Ownership over land held by the parish church is at the heart of the dispute. A local priest insists the conflict is not about religion, but that religion was used as a pretext in the case. Police are after 17 Muslims who fled following the incident.

    22/04/2009 BANGLADESH
    Islamic fundamentalists threaten UN agencies and Red Crescent
    Three intimidating letters have been sent to UNICEF, the World Food Program, and the Islamic equivalent of the Red Cross. Some observers see this as a response to the UN's promise to help the government set up a court to try Islamic fundamentalists for war crimes.

    11/11/2015 BANGLADESH
    Dinajpur, new attacks on Christians: family flees burning home
    A group of Muslims attempted to burn an entire Christian family, accused of witchcraft. A victim: "We lost everything, we live in absolute poverty. If we do not withdraw the complaint the consequences will be worse". In recent weeks many attacks on Christian-owned properties: the real intent is land expropriation.

    29/02/2008 VIETNAM
    Underground Buddhists support right of Hanoi Catholics over nunciature building
    A representative of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church contests the assertions of government-approved Buddhists who are claiming ownership of the entire zone, including the cathedral and the archbishop's residence. It's a claim advanced to beat back the promise to give the Catholics use of the complex.



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