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    » 12/06/2014, 00.00

    BANGLADESH

    Bangladesh government fund makes generous donation to 26 Christian churches

    Sumon Corraya

    The Christian Religious Welfare Trust gives US$ 27,500 to finance pastoral works and church renovation. The fund's goal is to contribute to national development by encouraging solidarity and brotherhood among people of different religions. The donation is "big deal for us," says a Catholic priest in a country where Christians are only 0.4 per cent of the population.

    Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The Christian Religious Welfare Trust donated 2.1 million taka (US$ 27,500) for pastoral work and renovation to 26 Christian churches in Bangladesh.

    Made during a ceremony held last Monday in Dhaka, the contribution is of particular importance, because it is the work of a government body in a predominantly Muslim nation where Christians represent 0.4 per cent of the population - 0.1 per cent in the case of Catholics.

    Established in 2009, the fund is designed to contribute to national development through the development of its human resources and by encouraging solidarity between people of different faiths.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Religious Affairs Minister Motiur Rahman, who also chairs the Christian Religious Welfare Trust, said, "We want the faithful of all religions to follow their beliefs freely. Through this fund, we promote religious harmony and brotherhood".

    During the ceremony, the minister also noted that Bangladesh is a secular country and that its constitution protects religious rights.

    "We believe," he explained, "that if people of all religion can practice their religious rituals properly, our country will advance with prosperity and peace".

    Fr Hubert B. Rebeiro, 44, is the parish priest at Jhoragopalpur, in the Diocese of Rajshahi. His church is one of those that received funding.

    "I am very pleased that government gave me financial support for church's activities. since we are in a predominantly Muslim country, it is a big deal for us," he told AsiaNews.

    The Christian Religious Welfare Trust received on an initial grant of 50 million taka (about US$ 650,000).

    Since 2009, it has helped 91 churches, for a total outlay of 9.5 million taka (US$ 125,000).

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    See also

    28/10/2010 VATICAN- INDIA
    Trust and respect are the foundations of dialogue between Catholics and Hindus
    Message from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the occasion of Divali, the "Festival of Lights." Respect is of course the consideration that each person should have the dignity and the inalienable right of all means to be protected from all forms of violence, neglect or indifference.

    29/09/2004 BANGLADESH
    Explosion in Dhaka might be attack against Christians

    Papal nuncio visits site of incident.



    26/10/2009 BANGLADESH
    Pressure on Catholic family to rob them of house and property
    Muslim groups have shot at the house and have built a wall to expropriate the land, while the police fails to intervene. "Allah Akbar" in place of the cross. Other Christian families have had to leave the area.

    08/02/2010 PHILIPPINES
    Manila: young Taizé community members pray in silence
    Titled ‘Trust on earth’, the fifth pilgrimage organised by the Taizé community took place in Makaty City (Manila). More than 3,000 people from around the world participated in the event, which began on 3 February. Some Muslims were also present.

    15/09/2009 BANGLADESH
    Dhaka: Christian murdered for a cellphone, police deny version of theft
    Swopon Mondol, a Baptist, died in hospital from serious injuries sustained during the beating. Police officer accuses "groups of students” from University of Dhaka of "committing violence." Blackmail and threats to his wife for reporting episode.



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