02/16/2015, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Religious groups take to the streets to protest against political violence in Bangladesh

by Sumon Corraya
The Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council organised a peaceful demonstration in Dhaka. "Our leaders should use politics for the welfare of the people, not to cause harm," says a nun in Dinajpur.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - "We strongly protest against any kind of political violence. We want to live in a peaceful Bangladesh. Our leaders should use politics for the welfare of the people, not to cause harm," said Sister Benedicta Gomes Swapna, from the Catechist Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Angels (CIC), a diocesan congregation in Dinajpur, who spoke to AsiaNews.

The nun, along with more than 500 people from all faiths, took part in a peaceful demonstration, last Friday, organised by the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, a human rights group that represents the country's minorities. About 90 per cent of Bangladesh's population is Muslim. Hindus are around 9 per cent and the rest are Christians and Buddhists.

"We do not want to see anarchy, atrocities, violence and killings," said Nirmal Rozario, a member of the association. "We call on our political leaders to reach a peaceful solution. We want to live in a country in which the faithful of all religions can live side by side, in harmony and brotherhood."

According to the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, a number of Islamists are involved in attacks against minority communities, especially Hindus, in order to drive them out of the country.

Since the start of the year, at least six Hindus have been killed, and three have been raped. Seven temples, 54 homes and 84 Hindu idols have also been attacked and vandalised, the Council said.

During the same period, about 90 people died in acts of political violence.

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