Rome (AsiaNews) – Father Piero Parolari, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), returned to Italy this morning from Bangladesh, following an attack by Islamic extremists on 18 November in Dinajpur.
The clergyman is out of danger, but he will have to undergo a lengthy recovery and follow intensive care. Two physicians, Dr Rapacioli and Dr Rossetti accompanied him on his trip home, courtesy of Alitalia, which provided special assistance.
Now he is recovering as an exceptional measure in Rome’s Bambin Gesù Hospital. The Holy See’s Children's Hospital has a long history of friendship and cooperation with PIME.
Fr Parolari, 64, is a medical missionary and associate pastor in Suihari and worked at the St Vincent Hospital in Dinajpur. He first came to Bangladesh in 1985.
On 18 November, three armed men on a motorcycle ambushed him on his way to the hospital. The priest fell to the ground and hit his head, bruising his eyes and other parts of the body. He has several broken ribs, which caused a pneumothorax, and a pneumocephalus due to a fracture to the Ethmoid bone.
Local authorities confirmed that Islamists were behind the attack. This reflects growing tensions vis-à-vis Bangladesh’s Christian community.
"Our community would like to thank the government and the authorities, who made themselves immediately available to help Fr Piero,” said PIME regional superior Fr Michele Brambilla, who spoke to AsiaNews.
“The situation remains very tense,” he added. “Today, extremists threatened the life of leading Muslim politician. Intimidation is not aimed only at Christians but also at all those who are working for peace. It is a political-religious problem, not a purely confessional issue."