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» 04/15/2009
BANGLADESH
Easter under heavy security for Catholics of Bangladesh
by William Gomes
More than 300,000 faithful participated in Sunday Mass in the capital and in the five dioceses of the country. During the entire Triduum, the police monitored the churches 24 hours a day out of fear of attacks.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - An Easter under heavy security for the Catholics of Bangladesh, a small minority representing only 1.1% of the 150 million inhabitants of the country, with an overwhelming Muslim majority. More than 300,000 faithful participated in Sunday Mass in Dhaka and in the five dioceses of the country, but the celebrations during the Triduum all took place under the supervision of the security forces, which watched the churches 24 hours a day.

Abu Sayed, a police official, explains to AsiaNews that "all over the country there is the same scenario, the people are worshiping in the temples, mosque and churches under police security," and that during the periods of religious celebrations there is extra security to prevent attacks, "but we are unable to guarantee the security of the people in everyday life."

Despite the fact that Easter is not one of the public holidays in the calendar of Bangladesh, and in spite of the atmosphere of tension in the country, participation in Holy Week was very high. Theotonius Gomes, the auxiliary bishop of the capital, says that this is a sign of the desire for concord and harmony shared by many people. "The resurrection reflects the message of unity and peace, in facing all the failure Christ is the only shining light of hope."

Kazi Nurul Islam, dean of the department of religious studies at the University of Dhaka, says that the climate of apprehension in the country can be overcome only through interreligious dialogue: "We need to help people to know the religions more, and that will begin to overcome the religious hatred and violence."

Angela Gomes, a Catholic and a leader of the association Bachte Shekha, which helps needy children, confesses that the faithful "are now living with the fear of attacks," but in spite of this they are not staying away from the celebrations, and are continuing to participate in charitable works. For her own part, she says that "the sacrifice of Christ always inspires me, it always reminds me to live for others and for Christ." Gomes, who was honored for her social efforts in 1999 with the Magsaysay Award, spent the holiday with the children of the Bachte Shekha, because "I always want the poor and destitute children to enjoy the joy of Easter in their life."


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See also
04/10/2009 PAKISTAN
Easter in Pakistan: from full churches to prison missions
by Qaiser Felix
03/07/2009 CHINA
Beijing on alert against revolts in Tibet and Xinjiang
by Wang Zhicheng
04/30/2009 BANGLADESH
"Unity in diversity": imams and Christian leaders condemn extremist violence
by William Gomes
03/12/2009 INDONESIA
"Martyrs' Trilogy," memoirs of Bali attackers exalted as heroes
by Mathias Hariyadi
10/27/2008 INDONESIA
Bali attackers: for Islam, are they heroes or criminals?
by Mathias Hariyadi
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Bishops of Sri Lanka: Prayers to the risen Christ for peace and unity in the country
INDIA
Easter, truth is the road to peace among peoples, says Mgr Menamparampil
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Easter solidarity in a Vietnam where poverty and marginalisation are at home
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Bishop of Orissa: fear surrounds Easter because of tension over elections
IRAQ
Almost calm Easter celebrations in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra
VATICAN
Pope: the Risen One continues seeking people to help him to establish justice, truth, and love
VATICAN
Pope: with the Resurrection, the light of God spreads through the world and history
VATICAN
Let us contemplate the face that changed the world, that answered hatred with love, says Pope
VATICAN
Via Crucis: Jesus continues to suffer and die today
PAKISTAN
Easter in Pakistan: from full churches to prison missions
HONG KONG – CHINA
Card Zen’s last pastoral letter to the Church of Hong Kong and China
THAILAND
Thailand, 283 converts to receive baptism at Easter
PHILIPPINES
Easter in Manila, kissing the cross of Jesus
TURKEY
Easter among the Muslims, in the land of Saint Paul
VIETNAM
2,000 young people of the diocese of Saigon prepare to become Catholics at Easter

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