Church leaders concerned by attack on Rohingya Christians in refugee camp
The incident, which took place in Kutupalong Maga, one of the most crowded camps, has led to the transfer of 25 Christian families to a UN transit camp. Caritas Bangladesh serves people of every religion.
Cox’s Bazar (AsiaNews) – Bangladesh Christian leaders have expressed "deep concern" about an attack on Rohingya Christian families at the Kutupalong Maga refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar last Monday night. The next day, 25 Christian families (70 people) were moved to a UNHCR transit camp.
"The attack is a very sad episode,” said Nirmol Rozario, president of the Bangladesh Christian Association, speaking to AsiaNews. The association is planning to visit the affected families.
Although the reasons for the incident are unknown, one of the Christian refugees, Saiful Islam Peter, said that intolerance against "the Christian faith” was the cause.
The attack has been blamed on members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), who “destroyed our homes and church,” Peter said.
According to the victims, 12 people were wounded in the attack, eight requiring hospitalisation.
Police described the violence as an “ordinary law-and-order incident”, noting that only four Christians and one Muslim suffered injuries.
Meanwhile, the Christian families have been transferred to another camp, this according to Refugee Relief and Repatriation commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder.
At present, more than 740,000 refugees are living in tents in various camps in Cox’s Bazar, in particular that of Kutupalong, on the border with Myanmar. They fled Myanmar after violence broke out pinning the Myanmar military and ARSA fighters in August 2017.
In addition to the 25 Christian families in Kutupalong, 444 Hindu families have also relocated to the Ukhia camp.
According to some sources, Christians and Hindus are said to be the victims of persecution by majority Muslim Rohingya.
Caritas Bangladesh is present in the camps, working for everyone, whether they are Christian, Hindu or Muslim, a Caritas official said.
The Catholic charity doesn’t consider the religion of the people they serve. Each camp has a person in charge of conflict resolution who, with the police, tries to settle issues.