Dhaka (AsiaNews) – At least 700 leaders of various Christian denominations attended a Christmas party yesterday with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a Muslim.
Organised by the Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA) in collaboration with the government, the event was held in the garden of Gana Bhaban, the prime minister’s official residence.
During the get-together, Ms Hasina mentioned Pope Francis’s pastoral visit to Dhaka from 30 November to 2 December.
“Please convey my thanks to Pope Francis for his call to the international community to stand beside Bangladesh on the Rohingya crisis,” she told her guests.
She noted that not only the Christian community, but people of every faith were happy to see the pope visit Dhaka.
She added that in Bangladesh everyone can practice their religious beliefs and can openly celebrate their religious festivities.
Hasina also sang Christmas carols along with those present, and cut a cake made especially for the occasion. Next to her stood Card Patrick D'Rozario, archbishop of the capital.
BCA president Nirmal Rozario gave the prime minister a Christmas card, and asked her to recognise Easter as a public holiday.
For his part, Card D'Rozario thanked the prime minister "for the Pope's visit. With government help, we completed all the events.”
The prelate also expressed gratitude for “all the security measures taken to guarantee the safety of the Christians who arrived in Dhaka".
"Your leadership is making a difference in Bangladesh,” the archbishop told her, adding “By opening the borders to the Rohingya, you have become the mother of humanity."